Ann Eskridge is a 2021 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow. Her passion for African American history explores, through fiction, playwriting, and screenwriting, subjects like the Underground Railroad, and all-black towns in Oklahoma. Her stories are in fact woven into fiction. She was a broadcast journalist before becoming a freelance writer and teacher. She dabbled in politics, working for a Republican Lt. Governor and a Democratic Detroit Council President. She developed the Mass Media Program at a Detroit school and was a speechwriter for a utility. Through career twists and turns, she wrote. She writes historical fiction as her homage to the ancestors and is currently enjoying writing lyrics for her musicals.
In Her Own Words
Ann Eskridge 2001 Kresge Fellow
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Born and raised on the eastside of Detroit, Alvah Jones studied music for over twenty years. His sound is the epitome of Hip Hop meets House music. His biggest influences are Michael Jackson, Elton John, Phil Collins, Tupac, and Babyface.
A graduate of Cass Technical High School, Alvah was a part of the historic music department under the guidance of choral director Dr. Cheryl V. Harden. Alvah continued his studies at Wayne State University where he double-majored in journalism and music. While in college, he shadowed as a studio engineer in the music tech program while perfecting his craft as a producer and artist.
After graduation, Alvah embarked on producing and songwriting full-time, working with artists such as Miguel, Chante Moore, and various Detriot artists. After releasing his first mixtape “No 9 to 5” Alvah garnered listenership and began a loyal fan base. In 2019, he released a 4-track EP titled “Alvah from the Eastside,” which is available on all streaming platforms, including Apple Music, LUM, SoundOff, Spotify, YouTube.
Alvah named a winning finalist in the Ne-Yo U S Love Remix Challenge, continues to collaborate with other artists. Check out his credits (below) to hear his newest or our favorite releases.
Alice Randall, a native Detroiter, is the Harvard-educated author of novels, including The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, Rebel Yell, Ada's Rules, and Black Bottom Saints.
An award-winning songwriter, she co-wrote the #1 hit XXX's and OOO's which celebrates Aretha Franklin. With her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, she co-authored the acclaimed cookbook Soul Food Love and which won the NAACP Image Award, and the young adult novel The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Princess, which received the Phillis Wheatley Award.
A Professor and Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University, Randall teaches courses on soul food, African-American children's literature, and African-American film.
Follow Alice on Instagram.