Befriending Angelou, Baldwin, and Morrison in 1970s New York

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After penning “High on the Hog,” Jessica B. Harris decided her next work would be a memoir, recounting her youth living in New York City in the 1970s surrounded by the most revered Black voices of their generation. Photo courtesy of Scribner.

Food historian Jessica B. Harris has cooked with Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. While working at Essence magazine, she also had a relationship with Sam Floyd, Baldwin’s best friend and neighbor. Harris recounts this confluence of acquaintances — the conversations, the food and the records they played — in her memoir, “My Soul Looks Back.”

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Evan Kleiman