Sunday, January 29, 2017

LSU professor examines history of 'South Baton Rouge'

LSU associate professor of African and African American studies and sociology Lori Latrice Martin, along with the Rev. Raymond A. Jetson have co-authored a book that explores the history of an African American community in Baton Rouge. “South Baton Rouge” covers the time from antebellum America to the historic visit by Pres. Barack Obama and includes more than 100 images. The book contains information on political figures, churches, McKinley High School, the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott and McKinley High School, the first high school for African American in the parish, among so much more. The authors will discuss their book as part of the Lecture and Lunch series at the West Baton Rouge Museum at noon Thursday.  All proceeds from the book benefit McKinley High School Alumni Center of Baton Rouge.

Sisters in Crime
Attention women writers. Interested in penning a mystery? Sisters in Crime, a national organization that promotes the advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers, will hold its inaugural meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. This event is free and open to the public and registration is not required.

But don’t worry men. You can join too. The purpose of the initial meeting is to gather interest from local writers about the possibility of creating a new chapter of Sisters in Crime. Additional programs that feature speakers will occur at the following times and dates: 1 p.m. Saturday, March 4; 7 p.m. Thursday, April 6 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3. Speakers for those meetings will be announced later and all meetings will occur at the East Bank Regional Library. Colleen Mooney, author of two cozies set in New Orleans, “Rescued by a Kiss” and “Dead and Breakfast,” is the organizer. For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, adult programming manager for the library, at (504) 889-8143 or email wcsmith@jplibrary.net.


Book news
Two faculty members in the School of Humanities in ULM's College of Arts, Education, and Sciences were awarded grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH). English instructor Vanelis Rivera was awarded the 2016 LEH Rebirth Grant for her project titled, “The Write to Word: ULM Storytelling Initiative.” The project strives to host creative writing workshops for women in local shelters. English instructor Lesli Rambin received a grant for her project “Byway Blues: A Guide to Northeast Louisiana’s Blues History.” The funds will be used to continue field research trips for production of the radio segment, “Byway Blues,” which airs on 90.3 KEDM, Public Radio.

UL-Lafayette history professor Dr. Thomas Cauvin was recently named the new director of the public history program at UL Lafayette and has published the first single-authored textbook in North America about public history and the new digital technology practices that are shaping the field. Cauvin’s book, “Public History: A Textbook of Practice,” is a compilation of resources needed to teach public history at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The American Library Association announced its 2017 youth media award winners and among them was Louisiana author/illustrator Mo Willems, who won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book for his “We Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book,” written by Laurie Keller. “Freedom in Congo Square,” a picture book set in New Orleans that’s illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and written by Carole Boston Weatherford, took a Caldecott Honor Book award and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book award.

Looking to write a book? I’m offering my Writing the Mass Market Novel class from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for four Wednesday nights in February through UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Then on Feb. 11 I’ll teach an afternoon workshop titled “So You Want to Get Published” detailing the many opportunities available to writers these days. UL Continuing Education offers lots more leisure classes; visit keeplearning.louisiana.edu or call 482-6386.


New releases
Christine Word of Lafayette uses two angels to “reveal the truth about who we are and what we're doing in this life” in “Sparks of Light: A Teaching Story About the Circle of Life.” The children’s book is intended as a teaching story to help children of all ages deal with loss. Word was moved to write the book after watching her granddaughter experience sadness and wished to find a way through story to explain one of the greatest of mysteries, the Circle of life. Word is author of “Ghosts Along the Bayou.”

LSU professor Dana Berkowitz examines why Botox is so popular and how aging is feared in America with her new book, “Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America.” The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates there are about two-and-a-half million Botox procedures performed annually. Berkowitz will sign copies of her book at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books of New Orleans.

Book events
“The Beatles: Band of the Sixties,” a 60-minute part-history, part-analysis multimedia presentation, will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. today at the South Regional Library of Lafayette. The program will be supplemented with audio clips of music and excerpts from interviews with the band members.

Loud in the Library: Poetry Slam begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Ollie Burns Library in Richwood. To be a presenter, call Kattina at (318) 680-3291.

Lafayette Reads Together is a community-wide reading and learning experience where the community is encouraged to read the same book, this year being graphic novel “Ms. Marvel: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson. The Lafayette Reads Together Fest, featuring Pakistani performer Mehnaz Hoosein, henna artists, Indian dance and more, will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Main Library in downtown Lafayette.

Dr. Thomas J. Durant, Jr., emeritus professor in the LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology, will provide a detailed account of his personal journey from a racially segregated town in north Louisiana at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Carver-McDonald branch library of Monroe. Durant’s 36-year tenure at the predominately white university includes his participation in the racial desegregation movement and the cultural transformation of the university.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.