BridgeDetroit and Bridge Michigan partnered to host Tuesday evening’s Bridge book club discussion of “Black Bottom Saints,” where we were joined by author Alice Randall and more than 225 readers for this joyful and informative discussion. If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch a recording of the event below.

This story also appeared in Bridge Michigan

Randall discussed her research process for writing “Black Bottom Saints,” her childhood in Detroit, her previous work as both an author and songwriter, the role of African-American “breadwinners” in shaping the culture of the city of Detroit, the United States and the world, the book’s theme of moving from trauma to transcendence, and more.

Watch the video below:

YouTube video

“Black Bottom Saints” is a historical fiction novel that pays tribute to Detroit’s legendary Black Bottom neighborhood. The book is a powerful blend of fact and imagination and is “narrated” by Joseph “Ziggy” Johnson, the real-life gossip columnist for the Michigan Chronicle, emcee of some of Detroit’s hottest night clubs and founder and dean of the Ziggy Johnson School of Theater.

As he lays dying in the Black-owned and operated Kirkwood Hospital, Ziggy reflects on his life, the community that was the center of his world, and the remarkable people who helped shape it.

Bridge Michigan hosts bimonthly book club discussions on books with ties to Michigan. Previous discussions have featured “The World According to Fannie Davis” by Bridgett M. Davis, “Arc of Justice” by Kevin Boyle and “The Women of the Copper Country” by Mary Doria Russell.

Our next book club discussion is in March. Stay tuned to Bridge for an announcement of our next Michigan-related book selection and the date of the next book club meeting.

More than 600 Bridge members received a free copy of “Black Bottom Saints” so they could take part in our January/February book club. If you would like a free e-book copy of future book club selections, join Bridge Club today.

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