"Oxford American" Magazine: A Discussion with Danielle Amir Jackson


Danielle Amir Jackson is a Memphis-born writer and critic, and the editor-in-chief of the Oxford American. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Vulture, Bookforum, Lapham’s Quarterly, the Criterion Collection, and elsewhere. Honey’s Grill: Sex, Freedom, and Women of the Blues, her first book, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Originally based in Oxford, Mississippi, hence its name, Oxford American is both a literary and general interest magazine intent on honoring the cultural wealth of the South. Four writings are discussed, beginning with “What If It All Burned Down?” by Katrina Andy, which as its title suggests, is loaded with questions about the largest slave revolt in U.S. history. It happens at the Andry Plantation north of New Orleans, in the aftermath of the successful Haitian Revolution. Two other writings involve music: there’s “How to Take It Slow” by Lauren Du Graf and “Coming Up Fancy” by Jewly Hight. The first portrays Shirley Horn, emphasizing her unique singing and piano style as well as her being such a homebody that she took a pressure cooker along with her on musical road tours. The second takes the song “Fancy” as sung by Reba McEntire and others and explores what home means when it isn’t a place of comfort. The episode’s fourth entry, “The Mustang” by Gwen Thompkins, is an evocative piece about a family journey to see grandparents at the same time that the narrator’s parents’ marriage is coming to an end.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of ten books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of ten books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit this site.

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