Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe

photograph by Jon Stevens

Meet the MilesVillian panel

Quincy is co-author with Miles Davis of Miles: the Autobiography; Earl the Pearl with Earl Monroe and the author of the miles and me, a chronicle of his friendship with Miles Davis, re-published by Seven Stories Press, September 2018. In addition, a major motion picture based on miles and me, for which he wrote the screenplay, is scheduled to go into production mid-2021.

Quincy is the author of 20 books, including 10 volumes of poetry and three children’s books. His writings have been translated into over 30 languages.

His other notable works include The Pursuit of Happyness with Chris Gardner, which became a major motion picture starring Will Smith, editor of James Baldwin: The Legacy, and co-editor (with Rainer Schulte) of Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Literature. QT’s latest books of poems are Seduction and a book-length poem, Ghost Voices, both from TriQuartley Northwestern University Press 2018. He is also writing a novel, The Legacy of Charlie Footman; a memoir, The Accordion Years; and an untitled book of non-fiction prose.

Among QT’s many distinguished achievements are the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, the Milt Kessler Poetry Award, three American Book Awards, the 2014 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from Furious Flower, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Award, January 25, 2018, in Detroit Michigan. 

Quincy Troupe is Professor Emeritus from the University of California, San Diego. He edits Black Renaissance Noire, a literary and culture journal published by the Institute of African American Affairs at New York University. He lives in Harlem (New York) with his wife, Margaret Porter Troupe.

Dr. Michael Datcher

Dr. Michael Datcher

Dr. Michael Datcher and filmmaker Stanley Nelson enjoyed a mutual conversation after the release of Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” documentary. Michael completed his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, his Masters at UCLA and his Ph.D. at UC Riverside in English Literature. 

He is the author of the Ferguson-area historical novel AMERICUS (Third World Press) and the critically acclaimed New York Times Bestseller RAISING FENCES (Penguin Putnam/Riverhead)—a TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB Book of the Month pick. The film rights were originally optioned by actor Will Smith’s Overbrook Productions, who hired Michael to write the screenplay.  

Michael’s has made many other media appearances, including OPRAH. Datcher is also the author of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize nominee ANIMATING BLACK AND BROWN LIBERATION: A Theory of American Literatures (State University of New York Press, April 2019). He is co-editor of TOUGH LOVE: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur.  

Datcher’s play, SILENCE was commissioned by and premiered at the Getty Museum. He is co-host of the weekly public affairs news magazine BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE on 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles. He is the CEO of the human productivity enhancement company Productive 

Through Joy and host of the online TV show The 4:45 Productive Through Joy Show.  His writing is widely anthologized, including appearances in the volumes What Makes A Man (Penguin), Brown Sugar3 (Simon Schuster), Soulfires (Penguin), Testimony (Beacon Press), Another City (City Lights), and Body and Soul (Crown), among others. He has curated and/or presented his work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hammer Museum and other art institutions. Datcher is the President of the Board of Directors at The World Stage, a literary and jazz education and performance 501.C3 nonprofit in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District. 

Lauren A. Parks

Lauren Parks

Lauren is President & Co-Founder of House of Miles East St. Louis (HOME), a non-profit 501c3 that provides educational enrichment opportunities, including tours at the restored East St. Louis childhood home of Miles. She help lead the restoration mission of HOME that has been featured in various media sources including, but not limited to:  FOX2, KSDK Channel 5, The Illinois South Tourism 2019 Visitors Guide (page 11), On The Edge of the Weekend Magazine, The Intelligencer, Jazz St. Louis, WSIE-The Sound Radio 88.7, St. Louis Public Radio,,, 92.9 Radio,,, Atlanta Black Star.

House of Miles East St. Louis (HOME) was nominated for the 2019 Building St. Louis Awards. House of Miles East St. Louis has had numerous visitors from all over the region, country & world including, but not limited to:  Paris France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Iran, England, Canada, California, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Connecticut, Missouri, Illinois.

Lauren A. Parks received her BS degree from Fisk University and Master of Science degree (+30) from Southern Illinois University -Edwardsville (SIUE), she has had 25+ successful years in education as a Diagnostician and Master Educator at the SIUE Early Childhood Center, School Districts 7 and 189, and  Wai’alae (pronounced WHY a LIE) in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Her awards and recognitions include, but not limited to: Unsung Hero, Phenomenal Woman, Racial Harmony, Wise Owl for Education, Metro Area Professional Organization (MAPO), National Disney Teacher Hand for Education, Hawai’i Innovator Educator. Lauren is the proud mother of two- Lillian and Lennium (Lenny).

Eugene B. Redmond

Eugene B. Redmond

For Eugene B. Redmond the years between 1976 and 2021 have been productive ones that included:

>Being appointed Poet Laureate of East St. Louis by Mayor/Dr. William Mason;

>Publication of his pioneering “critical history,” Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro-American Poetry (one of dozens of EBR’s literary projects);

>Lectures, workshops, residences, and poetry readings in Africa (Nigeria), Europe (The Netherlands) and North America (U.S. and Canada);

>Professorships at California State University (1970-1985)–where he won an Outstanding Faculty Research Award–and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Emeritus Professor of English);  

>An Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (2008) from SIUE and Grand Opening of SIUE’s Eugene B. Redmond Collection and Learning Center (2015);

>A Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, two American Book Awards (for The Eye in The Ceiling [1993] and Arkansippi Memwars [2012] respectively). …

Earlier, from 1967 to 69, Redmond served as Teacher-Counselor and Poet-in-Residence at SIUE-ESL’s Experiment in Higher Education, teaching with Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) and writer Henry Dumas (1934-68). (Redmond coordinated the city’s International Memorial Celebration for Miss Dunham at Lincoln Middle School (2006). And, assisted by Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Quincy Troupe, members of the EBR Writers Club and others, he spent 53 years shepherding the works of Dumas into print.) From 1969 to 70, he was Writer-in-Residence at Oberlin College in Ohio. And in 1986, local authors created the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club in his honor. The Club turned 35 in 2021.


Reginald Petty

Reginald Petty
Reginald Petty is co-founder of the East St. Louis, Illinois Historical Society. He has devoted years of collecting and documenting the history of the city while building a historical educational curriculum for schools in District 189. His personal philosophy is, in order to know where you are going, know where you come from. A former deputy director of the Peace Corps in four African Country’s, it surprised him to find Miles Davis popular in Africa as in the US and Europe. Reginald served under three presidents of the United States and dedicates his time raising the level of knowledge about where we come from, whether we were born here, or migrated here. He is one of the commissioner’s preserving the historic data from the 1917 race riot. He lives with his wife, artist Edna Patterson Petty in their historic home in the city.

Darlene Roy, Moderator

Darlene Roy

Darlene Roy is the original creator and moderator of the Roundtable Panel for the Miles Davis Arts Festival. In 2001, she presented MilesVille (the Man, the Music, the Milieu) to a standing-room-only audience with rave revues. In 2021, MilesVillians was born out of her creativity to honor and introduce the Miles Davis aficionados to a new generation.

Darlene is a nationally known poet and co-founder and president of the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club. She is an Associate Editor of Drumvoices Revue literary magazine and has designed and co-convened many literary workshops, cultural programs, critical review sessions, poetry readings and conferences.

Her poems, short stories and journal entry essays have appeared in a plethora of anthologies, literary journals, and periodicals. Her chapbook, Soon One Morning and other Poems, (Southwestern Illinois College) and her book, Afrosysthesis: A feast of Poetry and Folklore (published in 2015). Two of her poems were featured for three months on Metro Line (Bi-State) buses and cars in 1994 and 2005, respectively.

Radio, television, as well as at universities, conferences and festivals across the US, including Paris, France have featured Darlene Roy. She also appeared in the documentary by Sandra Phifer, on the history and culture of East St. Louis, Illinois entitled, Against All of the Odds.

Ms. Roy has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; a Masters in Social Work from St. Louis University and a post masters Fellowship in Leadership from Governors State University. In December 2004, she retired as Director of the St. Clair County/ East St. Louis Office, Illinois Department of Human Services, after 37 years of employment. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for volunteer work on committees, boards and advisory councils in the East St. Louis/ St. Louis Area. Ms. Roy’s son, First Sergeant, Troy Anthony Swanson, retired from the Army Band after 25 years of service and is now a highly successful photographer.