Dudley Randall founded a publishing company called Broadside Press in 1965, which published many leading African American poets and political writers.
Randall was born on January 14, 1914, in Washington D.C. His family moved to Detroit in 1920. Randall’s first poem appeared in the Detroit Free Press when he was 13. From 1938 to 1943, Randall worked at a foundry of the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. He also served in the military during World War II.
He worked at a post office while he attended Wayne State University in Detroit, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1949. Randall then completed his Master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Michigan in 1951. He worked as a librarian at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri and later at Morgan State College in Baltimore.
Randall later returned to Detroit to work at the Wayne County Federated Library System as head of the reference-interloan department. He founded a publishing company called Broadside Press in 1965, which published many leading African American poets and political writers. The first collection by the press was Poem Counterpoem (1966). He then published Cities Burning (1968), a group of thirteen poems, in response to a riot in Detroit. Another fourteen poems appeared in Love You in 1970, followed by More to Remember in 1971 and After the Killing in 1973. Some of his other well-known works are: A Poet is not a Jukebox, Booker T. and W.E.B., and The Profile on the Pillow. Dudley Randall died on August 5, 2000.