Joy Doss


As a difference maker, Toni Morrison kept the world beyond her in mind

“Make a difference about something other than yourselves.” – Toni Morrison (1931-2019) Dear Sista Toni,  I met you (used loosely here) almost 10 years ago. It was very brief. I was doing PR for the National Black Writers Conference. Amiri Baraka was there as well. I couldn’t...

We have your Independence Day barbecue playlist right here

Editor's note: #Access901 columnist Joy Doss first shared this playlist last June in honor of African American Music month. It's still a great playlist though so pump up the volume . . . Memphis is a musical city, no doubt. And black folk are a...

In Whitehaven, ‘Trap Fusion’ takes root with healthy eats

Markieth McCoy sums up the Trap Fusion mission perfectly: “Our goal is to keep people alive.” Markieth was talking to “Unc,” who came in to show love but was also trying to order chitlins or something like that. We were all like, “Now Unc, you...

Craft Food and Wine Festival taking ‘artisanal’ to the next level

Let me start by saying – AGAIN for the cheap seats – that black folks are not a monolith. We are not a collection of stereotypes. We are not always eating chicken wings and soul food. While I do enjoy those things, I also enjoy...

Night at the Lorraine serves up soul, spirit, symbolism

This was my third year attending Night at the Lorraine, as well as sitting on the host committee. The event is designed to bring positive attention to the fabled and famed Lorraine Motel, which now serves as the centerpiece of the series of exhibits...

God and music: Growing up Whalum

I met with the two (of three) Whalum brothers – Kortland and Kameron – in anticipation of their performance with their super fabulous, super talented uncle, Kirk, on June 2. The brothers will be featured guests in the Kafe Kirk series, which is now...

Rhodes College writers-in-residence brought together by love and hip-hop, poetry and prose

When my friend Amy Benson, a professor at Rhodes College, told me that she wanted me to meet her friends Dan Charnas and Wendy Walters from New York, I said “Sure!” They were coming to Memphis as writers-in-residence at the institution. I always enjoy...

#ACCESS901: Surviving R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby… and who else?

As rational, thinking adults, we kinda knew something was amiss with Michael. We subscribed to the Peter Pan and/or asexual fallacy ’cause we needed to. We knew “Aruh Smelly” was stinkin’ no doubt. Hello? Aaliyah. We just didn’t know how funky it was. For me,...

#ACCESS901: My mama – an African-American History Month salute

Fifty-five years last fall, 
local history was being
 made at what’s now the
 University of Memphis
 (then, Memphis State Uni
versity). Barbara Mull, my 
mother, along with six of 
her peers – Sue Parham,
 Jackie Briggs (Sales), 
Shirley Hill (Jones), Billie
Gayle Baker (Gholson),
Velma Wallace (Jones)...

Author writes ‘her way out’ with ‘Resurrected by the River’

Memphis-based author Victoria Terrell Traylor will gladly tell you that she has been renewed, rebirthed, revived and, yes, resurrected. She recently released her book of poetry, “Resurrected by the River,” hosting a packed book signing event at Novel Bookstore. Traylor spoke to the audience of...