LaShonda Barnett will speak about and read from her novel, “Jam on the Vine” about a black woman who launches a newspaper in the Jim Crow Midwest. Look for reviews of Ms. Barnett’s debut novel in O, the Oprah Magazine, Elle, Harpers, Essence, and possibly the New York Times.
A review by Laurie Cavanaugh, Holmes Public Library, Halifax, Mass., Library Journal.
Inspired by her own grandmother’s newspaper-reading habit to write about the role of the black press in post-Civil War history, the author modeled her main protagonist, Ivoe Williams, on the famous African American journalist Ida B. Wells (1862-1931). Barnett richly reimagines Wells’s life through Ivoe’s experiences, starting with her family and her community’s nurturing of her early love of newspapers; a clear talent for reading and writing; and the inner strength necessary to overcome racial and gender barriers.