Changing the Narrative: 12 authors, 16 titles bring the largest Black American group to Sharjah, UAE

Viewed as a cultural and literary hub of the region, the Sharjah International Book Fair is known as the “gateway to audiences who love the written word.” With the exceptional guidance of agents from T. Jones Media, twelve American authors have been ushered into this gateway. SIBF is an annual 11-day international book fair held … Continue reading

Behind ‘Jozef Book and Brew’: What we’ve been reading, brewing, and enjoying

The Jozef Syndicate is a cooperative of creators, writers, illustrators, journalists, artists…mostly importantly, we are readers. Well-read, pleasure seeking, erudite readers. We select the books as part of our Jozef Book and Brew. We recently took on a challenge to use a reading journal while we indulge. Some of us have while others tapped out … Continue reading

Author honors sister with children’s adventure

Tyra T. Wilson has released her first children’s book, A’Tiffa’s Mystery Adventure, an adventure story that helps young readers develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The Ponchatoula native penned her first book in the honor of her late sister, A’Tiffa Wilson, who lost her battle to breast cancer in November of 2017. Published in late 2020, the … Continue reading

Parenting during this pandemic requires an ‘anointing’ many already possess

With today’s coronavirus pandemic, parents and grandparents are facing a crisis never before seen. From dealing with health fears, sharp shifts to virtual learning, job losses, and political protests, parenting youth today–in a world that’s vastly changing–has become more challenging and overwhelming. Nearly half of parents of children under age 18 said their stress levels … Continue reading

Louisiana Poet Laureate John Warner Smith awarded national fellowship

Louisiana Poet Laureate and Southern University professor John Warner Smith has been awarded the prestigious Academy of American Poets’ Laureate Fellowship, given to honor poets of literary merit serving in civic positions around the country. Smith joins 23 other poets around the country who received a Laureate Fellowship. He received $50,000 as part of the award to produce … Continue reading

Shreveport native wins Pulitzer Prize

Shreveport native Jericho Brown ((born Nelson Demery III)has won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his collection “The Tradition,” which the Pulitzer board deemed “a collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence.” His poetry has been featured in The Bennington Review, Buzzfeed, … Continue reading

BJT Ledet’s ‘The Christians’ features 1960s Louisiana love story

With much anticipation,B.J.T Ledet,a Baton Rouge educator, has released the first a new adult, religious romance trilogy: The Christians. The Christians, book one, follows the life and love of Mary Jean Woods, a young, Christian woman in 1960 South Louisiana as she maneuvers through self-discovery, unrighteousness, and betrayal in hopes to find a true spiritual identity. … Continue reading

She begat this. Oh, really?

She begat this. Oh, really? For people outside of this entertainment, hip hop spectrum, the fact of Hill’s domination may be far-reaching until they read “She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” by Joan Morgan.

‘A Lucky Man’ wins Ernest Gaines Award for Literacy Excellence

Jamel Brinkley’s  collection of nine short stories has won the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Set in Brooklyn and the South Bronx where the writer spent his youth before graduating from Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the stories in A Lucky Man explore the charged, complex ties between boys and … Continue reading

Community support turns Facebook postings into published book

  When Baton Rouge writer and teacher Donney Rose set out to pay homage to the vastness of Black identities during Black History Month, he had no idea how much his community would support his month-long social media project. Each day in Feb. 2017, Rose dedicated a Facebook post to a prose-style “shout-out” in recognition of … Continue reading

Museum presents ‘The Thibodaux Massacre’ Book Tour, Feb. 18

For the first time ever, a limited number of people will experience live, the on-site telling of a key story hidden from people of Louisiana. Join us for this unique tour with the author who recently verified and chronicled the story in his book, The Thibodaux Massacre. The Feb. 18 tour will begin at 10 … Continue reading

When pain, anger turn into action, a mother gives hope after son’s murder

When Delzorah Barnett first learned that her son had been shot and was in the hospital clinging to his life, she nearly had a panic attack. When she later learned that he was shot multiple times by officers with the Atlanta Police Department and that he more than likely wouldn’t make it, it took everything … Continue reading

Children’s book brings Bayou Classic tradition into every home

  ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that will resonate with Bayou Classic revelers will be released for limited distribution just in time for this year’s game.   Lafayette author, educator, and school librarian, Andrea A. Brew is a second generation graduate of Southern  University, where her parents met. Inspired … Continue reading

Webb, Knight lay out ‘Must Reads’

Guiding book lovers through a plethora of new releases, debuts, and blitz is a favorite task of many book store managers and bloggers, especially at the start of a new year. Mississippi radio host and avid book reviewer Cyrus Webb of Conversations Live! released 10 Books You Need to Read in 2016 and included seasoned … Continue reading

Port Allen native releases lighthearted book about Jesus

One thing 29-year-old Keion Jackson is pretty sure of is that God has a sense of humor. His newly-released book “Because Jesus” was written to show just that. “Often when faith is discussed, we forget that joy is a part of God’s personality.  Laughter is one of the greatest gifts he’s given us,” Jackson said. … Continue reading

‘Change Me Prayers’ uncomplicated, gentle

Tosha Silver’s “Change Me Prayers” offers a great collection of uncomplicated prayers and short reflections on them at work in Silver’s life. The prayers aid readers in jump starting or rekindling a spiritual, divine connection through surrender and a genuine desire to be changed. Silver gives a gentle nudge in the voice of a friend … Continue reading

Student writing contest opens with chance to win cash, meet favorite authors

LSU’s Young Adult Literature Contest to Host Student Essay Contest LSU is offering area middle and high school students an opportunity to meet one of their favorite authors through the Young Adult Literature Conference and Seminar, May 31-June 5. Students may enter a writing contest, with a grand prize of $75 dollars, and a chance … Continue reading

Ernest Gaines wants you!

America’s biggest prize for Black fiction writers seeks entries Entries are being accepted through Aug. 15 for the ninth annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Information on criteria and entrance forms for the award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, is available at .   Sponsored by Baton Rouge Area Foundation donors, … Continue reading

Jackson’s readers experience rancid pandemonium and a story where no one wins

When Mitchell Jackson was named the 2014 winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence in Baton Rouge this January, reading his winning novel The Residue Years was a must. Published in 2013 by Bloomsbury Books, The Residue Years is a semi-autobiographical novel based on Jackson’s experience growing up in Portland, Ore., in a … Continue reading

Alexandria author’s fast-paced novella brings Louisiana adventure, culture

The colored hobo and Junior Rabbit had told us, “Be ready to compete but be ready to fight too or you may not get a chance to compete.” Befitting young adult readers and even teens, “Sonia Life” by Clarence Hunter (Abbott Press. 2014) is told in the distinctly familiar voice of 14-year-old Curly who reflects … Continue reading

Children’s book ‘Bonyo Bonyo’ expands mission

Bonyo Bonyo is such a brave and loving story that transcends cultures. When the death of a young sister sparks the desire in her older brother to become a doctor because of the lack of health care in the country, a Kenyan family unknowingly becomes bonded to society and the readers are taken on the … Continue reading

Taylor offers great guide for men seeking better lives

With the constant hum of the nation’s (and world’s) #BlackLivesMatter protests and rallies, Michael Taylor’s book, “Black  Men Rock!,” is a timely read although the book was published two years ago. Taylor clearly resonates and validates the message of Black men as valuable and irreplaceable. “This book has been written to start a new revolution … Continue reading

Multicultural Children’s Book Day to spread diverse characters, stories nationally

The push from various directions to raise awareness concerning the importance of embracing diversity in children’s books continues with two bloggers, Valarie Budayr of Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen of Pragmatic Mom announcing that Multicultural Children’s Book Day will take place on January 27, 2015, with a full schedule of online promotions and … Continue reading

Ferguson deserves YOUR book

‎The Ferguson Public Library is collecting books to distribute to families while schools are closed as a result of the continuous protests stemming from Michael Brown’s murder.‎ We join the library and encourage you to send books featuring diverse characters and authors. ‎ Remember, Black residents make up 67% of Ferguson. So, to us at … Continue reading

Start 2014 with Louisiana’s award-winning authors

As we get ready to launch into the New Year, here are four intriguing must-read authors to add to your collection. Yusef Komunyakaa Pleasure Dome Born: April 29, 1947 Hometown: Bogalusa, La. Family of five children While living in a drastic rural area, Yusef Komunyakaa’s childhood helped him to develop most of his poetry. The … Continue reading

Spiritual Bookshelf: ‘Must reads’ for this fall

The Nehemiah Blueprint By Jon Bennett According to Baker, LA., author Jon Bennett, his first book, The Nehemiah Blueprint, was written out of a sincere concern for the betterment of urban communities. The book is based on the passionate, Biblical account of Nehemiah who received a vision from God to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. … Continue reading

Lessons from Hurricane Katrina didn’t come easy in new novel by Lenard Tillery

Baton Rouge author and minister Lenard Tillery’s dynamic, fast paced novel Not Too Easy (ISBN 978-0988900-8-37. April 2013) takes readers into the psyche of Marcus McMain, a young man struggling in the projects of New Orleans at the dawn of Hurricane Katrina. “The true inspiration came from a desire to help young Black males overcome … Continue reading

Summer Book Picks includes Amite, La. author

Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison Yes, THE Ralph Ellison has a novel on freedom, published posthumously in 1999. A fascinating tale of the attempted assassination of Senator Bliss Sunraider who passes for white and reeks havoc on the Black constituents who reared him as a young man. On his death bed, he calls for the man … Continue reading

‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ published

Grambling State graduate Orey Brockington III share the dramatic events and heroes of Black history using a blend of compelling characters in his new book On the Shoulders of Giants. Brockington’s rich but concise narrative recalls both tragic and heroic events in Black history from the 1600s to the present. The book offers young adults and … Continue reading

Legislature’s lone Black photojournalist continues 4th decade

For more than 40 years, photographer James Terry III has been capturing the untold moments of history as it occurs throughout the state of Louisiana. From social and sports events throughout Baton Rouge to hurricanes and civil rights demonstrations including the March on the Mansion and Jena 6, the community knew to expect Terry to … Continue reading

15 year-old publishes first of Fantasy Series

Home Reading 15-year-old Raheem D. Allen’s  book I Am Rick: Zane’s Destruction is like riding a literary roller coaster , for teenage readers. Published by Haste Maker Entertainment in August 2012, the story begins on a  fast-paced, unpredictable and exciting ride through Baton Rouge. Read more by Cameron James at  15 year-old Publishes first Installment of Fantasy Series.

Signs Your Teen is in Trouble and What to Do About It

Being a teenager is never easy, but for some kids, it is excruciating. For parents, being able to tell the difference between normal growing pains and real trouble is crucial. From drug abuse to depression to more serious physical or mental abuse, it’s important to recognize when your teen is in trouble. “Young people don’t … Continue reading

Book answers ongoing question on the importance of tithing

Ronald L. Lewis was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is a licensed ordained minister, author, inventor, entrepreneur, and father who has published eight books. The Jozef Syndicate recently sat with Lewis to discuss his work. What’s your background? I was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I graduated from Capitol Senior High School and the … Continue reading

Kaleb Doutrive, 8, publishes first children’s book

Kaleb Doutrive is learning entrepreneurial skills a young age following the release of his first book, Funny Chaps. The shy, eight-year-old is a second grader at Belfair Elementary in Baton Rouge and the newest author of Bran Nue Productions. Funny Chaps a simple tale of friendship among young boys. Brothers, Jack and Timmy, move to … Continue reading

Real people send message to HCG cynics in new book

BATON ROUGE-Tackling head-on the myths and struggles surrounding the controversial HCG Diet, weight loss experts Patty Christopher and Geno Gambino of Baton Rouge have released their new book, The Real People’s Guide to the HCG Diet¸ revealing everyday techniques-mixed with humor and recipes. “Patty and Geno saved my life!” said Denise Taggart, who has Hashimoto’s … Continue reading

Author shows building financial future requires tenacity through money’s cycles

At a time when many families were losing jobs and homes, author Angela Lee Underwood saw an opportunity buried within the “sub-prime fiasco of 2008.” “People did not have anything to fall back on as it related to finances. There were many families who became homeless and did not have enough money to feed their … Continue reading

‘Grandma’s Hands’ packed with wisdom from women great in faith

Drawing inspiration from the women in the author’s family, Grandma’s Hands: Cherished Moments of Faith and Wisdom (Acanthus Publishing, 2012) is New Orleans author Calvin Mackie’s impassioned celebration of the enduring values of our elder generations, whose wisdom and experience bring a humbled perspective and clear direction to the challenges of our daily lives. Grandma’s … Continue reading

Memoir chronicles Black cowboy’s shore-to-shore ride

NEW JERSEY–One of the most recent and fascinating Black History memoirs published in 2012 tells the little-known six-month adventure of an African-American cowboy who rode horseback from Manhattan to California. That gripping journey by Miles Dean, filled with stops to recognize sites that were milestones in Black culture, is shared in detail by author Lisa … Continue reading

‘Misconceptions’ appropriate for young adult, female readers

Baton Rouge author Cosha Hayes makes the Earnest attempt to be a modern-day Terry McMillan in her debut novel, Misconceptions. While is it misses the mark as a new Waiting to Exhale, it hits dead-on as a cautionary tale for a young adult, female audience. Set it Baton Rouge, Misconceptions chronicles the life of Gabby … Continue reading

Sheryl Lee Ralph brings confidence, spunk in tell-all book

Ralph to visit Baton Rouge Thursday, June 20 Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph has not only been able to have a career of longevity but also one of quality. By playing characters who are strong , spunky and confident art has imitated life for the actress. Ralph gives an in depth reveal into her life, career, … Continue reading

Couple travels road to success, offers tips for working together in love and business

Barack and Michelle do it. Brad and Angelina do it. John and Yoko did it. How? As the divorce rate hovers near an estimated 50 percent in the United States, many blame career stress as a major cause of separations. But somehow some couples grow stronger, especially when they work together. One couple who have … Continue reading

Urban League releases ‘State of Black America 2012’

More than the economy, more than jobs, more than an excellent education for all children, the single issue that arguably stands to have the greatest impact on the future of Black America in 2012 is the vote. The 36th edition of The State of Black America examines how increased civic engagement by people of color … Continue reading

Morgan chronicles plantation, BR life

Baton Rouge author Josie Morgan’s Sins of the Past, Hope for the Future chronicles her family and personal life beginning in 1937 on Smithfield Sugar Plantation in Chamberlain, Louisiana. The self-published book is telling story of a post-Slavery family working on the sugar plantation and its hardship is written in a simplistic, honest manner akin … Continue reading

Weber holds dramatic, funny book signing

Scotlandville Branch Library hosted national bestselling authors Carl Weber and Eric Pete, Feb. 6, for an audience of 70 book lovers. Geraldine Miller, 58, confesses she reads Weber’s books until two am and gets back up at five am to read before heading to work at LSU. “I’ve read four of his books in two … Continue reading

Scotlandville, family generations found

Generations Recording: Genealogical Findings and Memories of the Gaines and Robinson Families by Ruby Ennis shares the history of her family traced back to Mali, Cameroon, and Ghana, Africa, and landing in Scotlandville, La. She captures the difficult to track and hard to validate path of her lineage and parallels it with the small community’s … Continue reading

Monroe native, Roosevelt Wright III starts tour of second book

“Someone else is living your life,” writes Roosevelt Wright III in The Power of Possibility. Wright writes: “In order for a man to find his true self he must first develop a true relationship with his Creator. Many times in order to do so he’ll have to spend more time learning his inner soul rather … Continue reading

Children’s book brings little boy with big mission

Ron’s Big Mission captures the imaginary beginnings of Ronald McNair’s dream of becoming an astronaut. In the story, Rose Blue and Corinne Naden introduce nine-year-old Ron and his fantasy for flying and becoming a pilot. On this particular occasion, Ron skips breakfast and hurries to the library. Only this time he passes up his favorite … Continue reading

Book Briefs: Ludacris, Sapphire, Billingsley

Rapper and actor Ludacris has joined forces with to support the Epic Book Drive to help libraries in New Orleans restock their shelves as they continue to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He has filmed a public service announcement urging students across America to share their books. “The campaign is giving something … Continue reading

Cheekie’ author launches essay contest honoring brother

CLARENCE NERO, AUTHOR OF Cheekie and former LSU Professor of English, recently buried his third brother, Sean Simmons, 27, in his hometown of New Orleans. Simmons was gun down in the driveway of his apartment complex on Sunday, February 20, in a violent massacre that swept the city with six murders on that day. Nero, … Continue reading

Debut novel delivers twists, struggles Louisiana style

Patterson, La., native Andrea Wren’s debut novel centers around 15-year-old Isabella, who knows her life will change when she leaves the comfort of her French Caribbean island home for Louisiana. But an unexpected turn of events lands her in the heart of the Deep South during the slavery era.  Isabella: The Belle of Ironwood takes … Continue reading