First the facts: Rachel Louise Martin, Ph.D., is a writer & public intellectual. She earned a doctorate in women's & gender history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her work has appeared in O Magazine, Oxford American, The Atlantic online, & CityLab, & she was a guest columnist for Catapult. She has been featured on the BBC's Food Chain, KCRW's Good Food, & the Michelle Meow Show. Her essay "How Hot Chicken Really Happened" was included in Cornbread Nation 2015: The Best of Southern Food Writing. Her first book, Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story, will be out in Spring 2021. She is also the founder & principal consultant at Quill, Fork, & Cork, a historical food & beverage agency.
But that doesn't explain why she does the work she does. Read more here.
An intimate portrait of a small town living through tumultuous times, this propulsive piece of forgotten civil rights history—about the first school to attempt court-ordered desegregation in the wake of Brown v. Board—will forever change how you think of the end of racial segregation in America.
In A Most Tolerant Little Town, Rachel Martin weaves together over a dozen perspectives in a kaleidoscopic portrait of a small town living through a tumultuous turning point for America. The result is a spellbinding mystery, a riveting piece of forgotten civil rights history, and a poignant reminder of the toll on those who stand on the frontlines of social change.
For almost seventy years, hot chicken was made and sold primarily in Nashville's Black neighborhoods--and the story of hot chicken says something powerful about race relations in Nashville, especially as the city tries to figure out what it will be in the future.
Hot, Hot Chicken recounts the history of Nashville's Black communities through the story of its hot chicken scene from the Civil War, when Nashville became a segregated city, through the tornado that ripped through North Nashville in March 2020.
“‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’ says the White Queen to Alice” ― Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass