OUR 2020 AUTHORS & PARTICIPANTS
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 12PM
Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is a scholar who speaks to the black and blue in America. His most well-known books, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, take a wide look at black communities and reveal complexities, vulnerabilities, and opportunities for hope. Hope that is, in one of his favorite quotes from W.E.B Du Bois, “not hopeless, but a bit unhopeful.” Other muses include James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Bobby “Blue” Bland. In addition to his readings of early American philosophers and contemporary political scientists, Glaude turns to African American literature in his writing and teaching for insight into African American political life, religious thought, gender and class.
He is chair of the Department of African American Studies, a program he first became involved with shaping as a doctoral candidate in Religion at Princeton. He is the current president of the American Academy of Religion. His books on religion and philosophy include African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction and Exodus! Religion, Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize. Glaude is also the author of two edited volumes, and many influential articles about religion for academic journals. He has also written for the likes of The New York Times and The Huffington Post.
In his most recent book, BEGIN AGAIN, Glaude looks at James Baldwin’s world and sees our own moment reflected back. Like Baldwin, Glaude argues, we live in the after times—in Baldwin’s case of the Civil Rights movement, and in our times of the Obama presidency and the promise of Black Lives Matter. In both cases, America responded to a challenge to the existing racial order by reasserting what Glaude calls the lie: the broad and powerful architecture of false assumptions by which white lives are valued more than others. That reassertion has been violent and devastating. Just as Baldwin watched America respond to the movement with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., so we have seen the murder of black Americans by white cops, a steady assault on voting rights, and the election of Donald Trump. And now we have witnessed it all crescendo in the brutal murder of George Floyd and the massive protests that followed. BEGIN AGAIN is a book for these difficult days.
By exploring Baldwin and his America in these years, augmented by newly uncovered interviews with Baldwin conducted by his first biographer, Glaude suggests that we can find hope and guidance through the era of Trump and our after times. BEGIN AGAIN prophetically speaks to our current moment and the latest example of the American lie and the cruel consequences that follow it. A searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, the book is a powerful interrogation of who we take ourselves to be and what we must ask and do in order to call forth a new America.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 1PM
"From My Jamaican Gully To the World"
Living on their sailboat at Cooley’s Marina just west of historic Fort Lauderdale, Audrey Peterman and her husband Frank wrote and spoke prolifically for seven years about the environmental challenges and opportunities facing South Florida and the nation. The Petermans have been advocates for the protection of America’s National Parks and publicly-owned lands for more than two decades. They have successfully challenged land managers and successive administrations to do more to include Americans of color as visitors, employees and supporters.
In this book, Mrs. Peterman writes about the formative influences in the Jamaican countryside that gave her the confidence to continue to work to make change in the environmental sector. Going back to her roots, Mrs. Peterman delves into “old time” Jamaica in a way that will delight audiences that remember those day and intrigue those for whom they are new. The book is a memoir, a history of the environmental movement from the perspective of a Black leader, and a guide to positively influence our response to the climate crisis.
Mrs. Peterman’s efforts have been recognized with a slew of awards including Environmental Hero Award 2000 from Vice President Al Gore and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Outstanding Citizen Advocate Award from the National Parks Conservation Association, (1998) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Outdoor Afro, (2017.)
Will was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he developed a fascination for creative arts. His parents moved to Long Island, which was much less populated. The new environment offered a wonderful backdrop for his creativity to continue to develop. While pursuing a physical therapy degree at FIU, an English professor noticed his abilities and suggested he look into becoming a writer. Writing was an afterthought at the time but the complement remained in the back of his mind. Upon Will’s return from Haiti in 2010, friends concerned with his mental health implied the possibility of seeking psychiatric therapy. Instead, he chose writing to cope with what he had witnessed and organized his thoughts. Short sentences became paragraphs. Paragraphs quickly formed into pages with a purpose. Quake fulfills Will’s long-held dream of completing and distributing his first book. Quake is also a great way for new audiences to discover the richness of Haitian culture. Will is a certified holistic sports nutritional consultant and practitioner at prohealthychoice.com. He now calls south Florida his home and is currently working on his next book.
The most horrifying threat is one that catches you when you least expect it. Jean Carmelo had arrived in Port-au-Prince on Monday. The following afternoon, everything turned for the worst. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake delivered the most shocking event Haiti had ever seen. Millions were caught off guard. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives. Based on a true story, author Will Loiseau writes about being at the epicenter before and after one of the world's most devastating natural disasters. Join us as we discuss Quake and learn what it’s like to join the Local Authors @ Broward County Library program.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 1PM
"The Green Book"
Calvin Alexander Ramsey
The playwright and author Calvin Alexander Ramsey was raised in the South and now lives in New York City. He is the author of Ruth and the Green Book, a children’s book published in 2010, and the play “The Green Book,” first produced in 2005 and published last year in book form. He is working on a documentary called The Green Book Chronicles. His work was inspired by Victor Hugo Green, who from 1936 to 1964 published the Jim Crow-era “Negro Motorist Green Book” (its title was modified over time, eventually abbreviated as the “Green Book”) listing locations catering to African-American travelers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda.
Pulling from these experiences and his own inner resources, at age 51, Ramsey launched a career as a playwright that has not only produced significant works and accomplishments, but has also sparked important debate. His first work, The Green Book, a two-act play about the difficulties African-Americans faced while traveling during the Jim Crow era was based on his research on The Negro Motorist Green Book, a manual directing Blacks to “safe” restaurants, hotel and gas stations. Published from 1936 to 1963, this now obscure guide was once widely used to shield Blacks from segregated facilities in the South and throughout the country.
Interviews with scores of elderly African Americans, recalled emotions of peril and fear while traveling which Ramsey sought to recapture in his play.
The play had its world premiere at Atlanta’s Theatrical Outfit, selling out many performances, and went on to win recognition as a finalist in the 12th Annual Last Frontier Theater Conference held in Valdez, Alaska.
Calvin is also the author of children’s’ book Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend: A Civil Rights Story.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 2PM
"Binky the Mermaid: The Fin-tastic Race"
Bianca Ukah was born in Alpharetta Georgia. Today, she resides in Coconut Creek Florida. Her Hobbies include singing, dancing, and acting but, above all, she has an insatiable appetite for playing in the ocean. Hence, her mom decided to enroll her into the local British Swim School. To say that she was totally in her element while at that institution would be a gross understatement. She absolutely crushed it! Her transition from a kid that refused to swim without goggles because of fear of getting water in her eyes, to an absolute natural was swift and truly remarkable. With help from instructors and unwavering support from family, she mastered the art of swimming, garnering increased levels of proficiency and speed in an extremely limited span of time. Consequently, she was affectionately labeled Binky The Mermaid.
One day after swimming lessons during the fall of 2017, she approached her mom and requested assistance with writing a book about her aquatic experiences. Although she was barely four years old at the time, her leadership, resolve, and foresight gave life to the motivation for this project. She left her mom with no choice but to follow her well-defined lead. The rest is history.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 2PM
"Black Bottom Saints"
Alice Randall is the author of novels The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, Rebel Yell, and Ada's Rules. Born in Detroit she grew up in Washington, D.C.. As a Harvard undergraduate majoring in English she studied with Julia Child as well as Harry Levin, Alan Heimert, and Nathan Huggins. After graduation Randall headed south to Music City where she founded Midsummer Music with the idea she would create a new way to fund novel writing and a community of powerful storytellers. On her way to The Wind Done Gone she became the first black woman in history to write a number one country song ( XXX's and OOO's); wrote a video of the year (Is There Life Out There); worked on multiple Johnny Cash videos (The Chicken in Black) and wrote and produced the pilot for a prime time drama about ex-wives of country stars (XXX's and OOO's) that aired on CBS. She has written with or published some of the greatest songwriters of the era including Steve Earle, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, and Mark Sanders. Four novels later, the award winning songwriter with over twenty recorded songs to her credit is Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University and Faculty Head of Stambaugh House. Her core courses include courses on Country Lyric in American Culture, and Soul Food as text and in text. Randall lives on the University grounds with her husband, David Ewing, a ninth generation Nashvillian who practices green law. Her daughter Caroline Randall Williams graduated from Harvard in 2010 and from Ole Miss in 2015. In addition to being Randall's favorite co-writer, Randall Williams is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at West Virginia University. After twenty-four years hard at it Randall has come to the conclusion motherhood is the most creative calling of all and health disparity is the dominant civil rights issue of the first quarter of the 21st century.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 3PM
"This Day In Comedy"
Darryl Littleton began his professional comedy career writing sketches for “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” on CBS Radio where he created the comedy persona, “D’Militant”. Soon afterwards he became a regular at the world famous Comedy Store and landed a job as D. L. Hughley’s exclusive writer during his tenure as host of BET’s Comic View.Darryl was promoted to writer/producer and penned material for Cedric the Entertainer, Sommore and Don DC Curry.
Littleton has appeared on Martin Lawrence’s 1st Amendment, Mo’Nique, Def Comedy Jam, Loco Comedy Jam, The Parent Hood, Townsend Television, Unsung Hollywood: The Jeffersons, Showtime at the Apollo, BET’s Comic View, Uptown Comedy Club, Unsung Hollywood: Wayne Brady, Byron Allen’s Comic’s Unleashed and ABC’s America’s Funniest People where he was the Grand Prize Winner. Littleton’s film credits include, Diamond Dawgs and All Lies on Me.
For years Darryl Littleton toured Europe and Asia as a stand-up comedian entertaining US military troops. Upon his return he released his comedy CD, Am I Lying?!, won the prestigious Bay Area Black Comedy Competition on its 20th Anniversary, worked as a commentator for NPR and published his first book, Black Comedians on Black Comedy, is taught at USC and was adapted into the Robert Townsend directed documentary, Why We Laugh where Darryl served as executive producer.
Littleton co-hosted the podcast “Tuezdae’s with D’Militant”, toured as a public speaker, produced Black & Blue: The Laff Records Collection and dropped his sophomore album Too Raw for Mainstream along with publishing six additional books: How to Be Funny: The Essential Comedy Handbook; Forefathers, Pimp Down; Comediennes: Laugh Be a Lady; Black Revenge, How To Do Stand-Up Comedy: Preserving a Dying Art Form and the satirical graphic novel, “1 Broke Activist: The Adventures of D’Militant - Mein Trump”.
Darryl Littleton is a Curator for the Comedy Hall of Fame and an Emmy nominated writer for his work on the documentary, Joan Rivers: Exit Laughing. On December 3, 2019 his eagerly anticipated, This Day In Comedy: The Ethnic Encyclopedia of Laughter was released and on February 3, 2020 his popular podcast, “D’Militant Got a Show” premiered on a live stream format.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 3PM
"Badass Black Girl"
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, M.J. Fievre moved to the United States in 2002. She currently writes from Miami. M.J.’s publishing career began as a teenager in Haiti. At nineteen years-old, she signed her first book contract with Hachette-Deschamps, in Haiti, for the publication of a Young adult book titled La Statuette Maléfique. Since then, M.J. has authored nine books in French that are widely read in Europe and the French Antilles. In 2013, One Moore Book released M.J.’s first children’s book, I Am Riding, written in three languages: English, French, and Haitian Creole. In 2015, Beating Windward Press published M.J.’s memoir, A Sky the Color of Chaos, about her childhood in Haiti during the brutal regime of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
M.J. Fievre is the author of Happy, Okay? Poems about Anxiety, Depression, Hope, and Survival (Books & Books Press, 2019) and Badass Black Girl: Questions, Quotes, and Affirmations for Teens (Mango Publishing, 2020). She helps others write their way through trauma, build community and create social change. She works with veterans, disenfranchised youth, cancer patients and survivors, victims of domestic and sexual violence, minorities, the elderly, those with chronic illness or going through transition and any underserved population in need of writing as a form of therapy—even if they don’t realize that they need writing or therapy. A long-time educator and frequent keynote speaker (Tufts University, Massachusetts; Howard University, Washington, D.C.; the University of Miami, Florida; and Michael College, Vermont; and a panelist at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference, AWP), M.J. is available for book club meetings, podcast presentations, interviews and other author events.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 3PM
Kyandreia Jones is a Posse Miami Scholar and Graduate from Hamilton College where she received her B.A. in Creative Writing. She was born and raised in South Florida. When she thinks of home she likes to muse that she is in a “sunshine state of mind”. Jones’ poetry and prose has been published in various college literary publications and magazines such as Red Weather , Grasping Roots , The Black List Journal and The underground . Opportunities like having her first short story “At Home” published by Living Spring Publishers in Stories Through the Ages, College Edition 2017 inspired Jones to take her writing to new heights. In May 2019, Choose co published Jones’ first book Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette . Working for Choose Your Own Adventure has been the highlight of Jones’ career and she cannot wait to see what other adventures await her as a writer, visiting author and public speaker! Jones values reading, writing, laughing, and promoting universal kindness.
SATURDAY, JULY 18TH | 4PM
"Veil & Vow"
Aneeka A. Henderson
Aneeka Ayanna Henderson is an Assistant Professor at Amherst College in the Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies Department. As an interdisciplinary scholar of contemporary African American literature and cultural production, she also holds affiliations in the Black Studies, English, and Film and Media Studies Departments. She is the author of Veil & Vow: Marriage Matters in Contemporary African American Culture, published by the University of North Carolina Press | Gender and American Culture Series. She is the recipient of several national fellowships and awards from the American Association of University Women, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Her course, Black Women’s Narratives and Counter Narratives was featured in the New York Times and identified by Elle magazine as one of the “63 College Classes That Give Us Hope for the Next Generation.” She is a native of Chicago, Illinois and received her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Illinois.