Monday, February 20, 2012

Broussard honors African Americans of Lafayette, Southwest Louisiana

Sherry T. Broussard of Lafayette has entertained audiences for more than 30 years with her innovative, award-winning storytelling. She is an educator, former academic librarian, researcher and community activist and has produced black history and cultural programs in regional schools, churches, libraries and museums. Broussard is also the founder and president of Bayouland Storytellers Guild of Southwest Louisiana and the Just Write Cultural Arts Group and cofounder of Malunda African-American Book Club. This month, Broussard’s “Images of America: African Americans in Lafayette and Southwest Louisiana” by Arcadia Publishing has been published. Broussard will hold a book signing at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 5707 Johnston St. in Lafayette and at 2 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Paul and LuLu Hilliard University Art Museum on the UL-Lafayette campus.

Cornell Landry, author of “Goodnight NOLA” and other children’s picture books has published a new children’s book just in time for Carnival season. “Happy Mardi Gras,” illustrated by Sean Gautreaux, teaches children the history of Carnival. 

If you’re headed to New Orleans for Mardi Gras fun, try the “Food Lovers’ Guide to New Orleans,” a pocket sized book by Becky Retz, a staff writer with The Times-Picayune, and James Gaffney, a travel writer who lives in New Orleans.

And speaking of The Times-Picayune, the newspaper is celebrating its 175-year anniversary with a commemorative book titled “Our Times — New Orleans through the Pages of The Times-Picayune.”

Louisiana publisher Margaret Media has published an end-of-the-world scenario with philosophical lessons titled “Humanus Diabolicus: A Postmodern Prophecy” by Baton Rouge author James Houk. The fantasy-New Age novel is available through and local booksellers such as Cottonwood Books in Baton Rouge. To reserve a signed copy, call (225) 343-1266.

Michael Dan Jones, author of “The Tiger Rifles: The Making of a Louisiana Legend,” will give a talk on these Louisiana Confederates at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Young-Sanders Center at 701 Teche Drive in Franklin. Jones will display a reproduction Tiger Zouave uniform, Baton Rouge Arsenal accoutrements and a Mississippi rifle like those worn and carried by the unit. He will also have on display several art prints featuring the Tiger Rifles. The Tiger Rifles, Company B, of Wheat’s Battalion became famous because of their flashy Zouave uniforms, battalion commander Major Roberdeau Wheat and their heroics at First Battle of Manassas. Their nickname, Tigers, became attached, first to the battalion, and then to all Louisiana troops serving in the Army of Northern Virginia.  Jones co-authored “Lee’s Foreign Legion: A History of the 10th Louisiana Infantry Regiment” with Thomas Walter Brooks. The Southwest Louisiana Historical Association has published a series of books by Jones, including “Southwest Louisiana in the War Between the States,” “Southwest Louisianians Defend the Nation” and “Adventures in Old Calcasieu.” The lecture is free. For more information, contact the Young-Sanders Center at (337) 413-1861 or

Terry Bethea will sign copies of her children’s book, “Why Snails are Slow” at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at Barnes & Noble, 5707 Johnston St., Lafayette.

Casa Azul in Grand Coteau will offer a French open mic at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. Free. Participants may share poems, stories, songs and other forms of creative expression in French, either borrowed or original. For more information, call (337) 662-1032.

The South Regional Branch Library will screen “Precious,” the first film directed by a black director (Lee Daniels) to be nominated for Best Picture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. The screening is part of a series by the Lafayette Parish Library Black History Month.
Cheré Coen is the author of “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at