Candace Allen is a novelist and essayist, with a particular affinity towards music. In her book Soul Music The Pulse of Race and Music she investigated the inspirational personal, social and political power of music, visiting the Sistema programme in Caracas and its off-shoots in the UK and US as well as similar projects in Palestine and Kinsasha. Her novel Valaida, was based on the life of trumpet-player Valaida Snow. She was a political activist in her time at Harvard University in the late 60s/early 70s – instrumental in the establishment of its African and African-American Studies Department, now headed by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. — and again during the 2008 Obama campaign. She is frequently asked for broadcast and newspaper comment on culture, race and politics.
In a previous life she was the first African-American female member of the Directors Guild of America, spending some twenty years in Hollywood film production. She lived in Berlin for several years in the 1980s and has lived in London since 1994.