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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Girl Who Stayed Home Wednesday, July 23, at 5:09pm in West Hollywood

Erykah Badu

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts has produced plenty of accomplished alums since it became Dallas ISD’s arts magnet in 1976: singers Norah Jones and Edie Brickell, actress Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost, Revolution), jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. But only one continues to call Dallas home, the girl known as Erica Wright when she graduated in 1989: Erykah Badu. 

“I never wanted to be a celebrity,” she told writer Michael Hall in 2007. “My first job is not music. I love it; I especially love to perform, especially here. I’m an artist by religion. I paint, draw, sew, design clothes, sculpt, build, and raise children. Music is a great way to make money. But I don’t want to be a celebrity. I want to be able to go to the store and buy some milk. And my heart feels whole in Dallas.”

Because music is still a great way for her to make money, Badu spends time in Los Angeles and New York, the twin centers of the business. But just as often you can find her back in Dallas, giving all the hopeful artists coming out of Dallas a roadmap to follow. She’s active with Booker T. and has taught at Africa Care Academy, near where she grew up in South Dallas. For a few years in the 2000s, she resurrected the old Forest Theater on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (rechristening it the Black Forest Theater) and brought in Prince, the Roots, Snoop Dogg, and others for after-hours gigs. In 2010, she made headlines with her controversial video for “Window Seat,” wherein she gradually stripped off all of her clothes as she strode through Dealey Plaza.

More than that, though, you can find Badu around town—especially near her White Rock Lake home—just being a woman going to the store and buying milk. Or whatever she was going to buy the last time we saw her, pulling to the curb in a pearlescent green Smart car outside of a skate/head shop on Garland Road. Whether she likes it or not, Badu is a celebrity. But she’s still ours. 

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  • BMichavery jones

    I adore her! She makes me proud to say I am from Dallas! #BMichavery