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Meet our Authors & Presenters for 2016

 
Cordell Adams - Link to Cordell's Book
Cordell Adams, MD, is known locally, state-wide, and nationally, for his academic and medical excellence. In his solo practice, he offers complete medical eye evaluations with sub-specialty training in glaucoma. Cataract extractions, medical treatments, laser eye surgery for certain eye diseases, and glaucoma surgery are his areas of expertise. Sixty percent of the practice is devoted to general ophthalmology, including visual assessment and contact lens fittings.
 
Since high school, Dr. Adams has continued to set the highest of standards for himself. A 1979 graduate of Jacksonville Senior High School, Jacksonville, TX, he has the distinct honor of being the first and only black valedictorian. His honors, achievements, and conquests have been unparalleled in his strive for higher education. 

His formal eduction includes: 
  • B.S. in Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors) May 1982 from Southeastern Oklahoma State Univ., Durant, OK
  • MD degree in May of 1986 with honors from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
  • Academic Fellowship, Ophthalmic Pathology (’87-’88) Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC
  • Residency, Ophthalmology (88-91) Univ. of California College of Medicine, Irvine, CA and as Chief Resident the last year of ’90-‘91
  • Clinical Fellowship, Glaucoma, the renowned Jules Stein Eye Institute of UCLA, one of the top five ophthalmology programs in the country, ’91-‘92

Light Bread, a first novel by Cordell Adams, weaves a lovely story around the tumultuous 1960s in his creation of Veola Cook--a brave, Black earth mother of wisdom, warmth and wit. But Veola has the strength of goodness and godliness to offer love and comfort to those in need, regardless of the danger she faces, regardless of the unrest in America...and regardless of the color of the many who depend on her.

 
A.D. Burks -  Websites - 4 Steps and SexSurrender
Burks was born in Houston, TX at Texas Woman’s Hospital, a special hospital in Houston for women who are having complications with birth. His mother was in the hospital thirty two days. At her church Burks became known as the miracle child. The doctor told his parents that either the baby could be saved or his mother. According to Burks, “God saved us both. And he saved me again when I faced the pain that was the source of my sex addiction.”

 
Burks grew up in Missouri City, a very diverse neighborhood outside Houston. His parents divorced when he was four years old. He was raised primarily by his mother, who was and still is a professional counselor. For Burks, being an only child was a challenge; he felt the lack of older brothers or sisters to protect, guide and look out for him.
 
Burks was driven to excel from an early age, he received awards in science, math and history. Other accomplishments centered around music such as singing competitions, singing with the Fort Bend Boys Choir, and a lead in a local TV Christmas Commercial. At age fifteen, Burks traveled as a “People to People Student Ambassador” to Russia. Then at Grinnell College he sang at Carnegie Hall with The Grinnell Singers. After earning a degree in Chemistry from Grinnell College, he pursued a professional music career while teaching science in the Atlanta, Nashville and Houston public school systems. Burks furthered his education with a Masters in Business Administration from Rice University. Working in real estate development he completed his own development projects and transitioned into corporate real estate for the primary resource his state of Texas is known for: oil.
 
Burks primary guidepost was his relationship with God, “I truly believe God gives warning before destruction. God would deliver those warning signs through close friends, mentors I’ve had since high school, counselors and books.” Burks is a member of Brentwood Baptist Church. Over the years, Burks has worked with a therapist to build his recovery.

Lawayne Orlando Childrey  - Lawayne's Website
Lawayne Childrey is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. His autobiography, Peeling Back the Layers: A Story of Trauma, Grace and Triumph, was selected as one of the top six autobiographies of 2015 by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Childrey is also a recipient of the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Journalistic Excellence. In addition, Childrey has won numerous Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters awards for his reporting with Mississippi Public Broadcasting, a statewide affiliate of National Public Radio. In 2014 the Alabama Community College System selected Childrey as its most outstanding alumnus in the institution’s 50-year history. The ACCS awarded a $5,000 scholarship in Childrey’s name to a deserving Alabama high school senior. During the same year, Childrey was named alumnus of the year for Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham. He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he serves on the executive committee of the Nashville Regional HIV Planning Council. Childrey also works as a freelance journalist, national voice over artist, HIV/AIDS advocate and motivational and keynote speaker. 

Charles Harvey - Charles' Website
Charles Harvey is a native Houstonian and a graduate of the University of Houston. He has studied fiction under the guidance of Rosellen Brown and Chitra Divakaruni at U of H. He has studied poetry under Joyce James and Cynthia MacDonald. In 1987, Charles was a 1st place prize recipient of PEN/Discovery for Cheeseburger, which went on to be published in the Ontario Review. In 1989 Charles Harvey was awarded the Cultural Arts Council of Houston Grant for Writers and Artists. Also in 1989 he was a finalist in the MacDonald's Literary Achievement Awards. Charles has been published in Soulfires, Story Magazine SHADE, High Infidelity, The James White Review, and others. He is the author of the novels The Butterfly Killer, Promise Goodday, and Boy 4 Higher. He is also the author of several story and poetry collections.  

Brandon L. Jackson - Brandon's Website
Poet, spoken word performer and self - published author, Brandon L. Jackson is a young writer who advocates self-love, love for others and healing through the power of expression.  Now at the age of 27, Brandon has performed in and out of Texas, being called such things as “old soul” and “someone who’s existed here before." A graduate of Sam Houston State University, he is the author of two poetry book collections titled "The Parts Medicine Can't Reach" and "Somewhere Between Logic & Emotion" and a third collection released this year entitled “From A Sky’s View”. Brandon Jackson's creative goal has been to provide an impact to people through words, allowing poetry to be a bridge for others wanting to love, relate and heal.

Writing since adolescence, Brandon grew up on MLK in the small town of Bryan Texas where he started out reciting in grade school and in front of church congregations. During his college years, Brandon majored in Communications with a minor in Sociology and became part of the SHSU Poetry Slam Team. During these years, he traveled and competed along with other talents in several states such as New Mexico, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and of course in his home state of Texas. Now residing in Dallas, Brandon continues to perform in venues such as The South Dallas and Oak Cliff Cultural Centers; for the Poetry Smash series at The Black Academy of Arts & Letters hosted by B. Randall; was featured at the 2013 International Book Fair at The Dallas Public Library, and has performed to honor the young men at the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy.

Continuously evolving, Brandon has been a featured guest on the Internet talk radio show "The Journey" hosted by Neville Deangelou, performed in rallies for LGBT equality such as “RevLove”, recently had his words featured in the art exhibit called “Blues Talk: It Ain’t No Chit Chat Cliché” by visual artist/community activist Vicki Meek and has had reoccurring performances for The T.R.U.T.H. Project, led by Kevin Anderson, that provides artistic outlets for HIV awareness within the community. With his third poetry collection, From A Sky’s View, audiences are sure to read and hear the inspiration he pulls from his experiences and upbringing. Brandon L. Jackson welcomes words that move listeners to love better, be loved better and to dig deep to the roots of the soul.

E'Yama Matturi - Link E'Yama's to book
E'Yama Matturi graduated from Compton Community College receiving her Associate of Arts degree in theater. She later attended Loyola Marymount University majoring in both Communications and Fine Arts. Her writing skills were noticed by her parents as a preteen. Utilizing writing as a way of expression through trying times; realizing at a young age one needed a vice to free themselves from life's stressful moments. Writing in turn became her safe haven releasing her inner most thoughts when unable to share them with others.

E’Yama is an actress, poet, spoken word artist, and inspirational speaker. She made her film debut starring in GBF Media Films, "O.P.P." and "Tantalize". She made her big screen debut in the independent film, "Big Bag Of $". Also entrepreneur as well E'Yama is CEO of Creative Source Enterprises and
DaMissn1Records. Her latest book is "Deeply Rooted Deeper Roots". Look out for her next book and third in the “Deeply Rooted” series, “Deeply Rooted Germinating: Word from a Young Me.
 
B Jae McDonald - 
B J McDonald is a native of Fort Worth, Texas.  She an innovative poet and the author of her first self published compilation; Wake Up and Smell the Chocolate.  B J has been actively writing poetry since 2003.  She received an A. A. degree in Business Management from Tarrant County College and is currently employed in Corporate America.  B J is the owner of Poetic Expressions 4 the Soul.  She is an advocate for the healing of the mind, soul and body.

Toni Newman -  Link to Toni's book
Toni Newman is a 1985 graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Studying law with plans of becoming a lawyer defending Transgenders (especiallly minorities)and their rights. For the last 25 years, Toni has been making Male-to-Female (MTF) transformation. For ten years, she worked as a professional mistress with a female mistress and male master. They were known as THE EROTIC PROFESSIONALS with celebrity clients. Together with her business partner, Alton Demore, and British Director Keith Holland, Toni has written a teleplay (The Erotic Professionals) and screenplay (Heart of a Woman) about the trio's escapades as escorts and life as a black transgender in America. Toni just recently produced comedy webisode, Douche Bros, with Executive Producers Alton Demore, David Veach and Laurent Hazout directed by British Director Keith Holland starring Chris Conrad and Jaime Zevallos. Her book I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman is available on Amazon.com now as hardcopy or kindle ebook.
 
Jai Sneed - Jai's FB Page

Jai Sneed is an Author, National Empowerment Keynote Speaker, LGBT Dating and Relationship Coach, and Life Success Workshop Facilitator. He has made it his life’s work to be a resource of empowerment and motivation for the LGBT/ SGL Community. Jai is the Founder and President of STAG Single Professionals Events, an SGL/LGBT dating and relationship firm that provides its members with the dating resources, singles mixers/events, and singles seminars necessary to achieving their goals in life and love.
 
Recognized within his community for many years, Jai has worked under amazing veterans in the community, and developed his skills in community development, community based organizational infrastructure, social event planning, and has hosted a plethora of events for the SGL/LGBT community. Jai has served many years as an apprentice under his esteemed mentor Kevin Anderson, Founder and President of The T.R.U.T.H. Project in Houston, TX.
 
As an elite member of the LGBT community, Jai seeks to empower same gender loving singles and couples to become successful in life and in love, and has made it his mission to provide every tool possible to assist the SGL/LGBT community members with living their best lives now.

Craig Stewart - Craig's Webpage 
Craig Stewart an artistic virtuoso with a passion for literature, music and theatre is brining his love for storytelling to the arts scene.  He showcased his skills and ambition, with his debut stage production—A Day in the Life.  It finished a successful run in Atlanta and established Stewart as one of the nation’s up and coming artists.  

Originally a native of Baltimore, Stewart moved to Atlanta over a decade ago with dreams of making it in the music industry.  Despite his passion and several opportunities to work with established artists and producers, Stewart eventually realized that his future was not just in music.  He turned his attention to writing, and in 2002, his first play, A Day in the Life, opened at Atlanta’s 14th Street Playhouse. 

In 2012, Stewart's groundbreaking debut memoir, Words Never Spoken transcended race, gender and sexuality. Dubbed a literary piece of artwork, Words Never Spoken gave voice to men and women who are conflicted sexually, and frustrated by the complexities of being gay, bisexual or trans.
 
In May of 2015, Stewart released the long awaited sequel, One Thing for Certain, Two Things for Sure, A Memoir continued. “I promised myself years ago that I wouldn’t be the kind of writer, artist, who puts out a project because people want to hear more from me. Rather, I’d be the kind of artist that only puts out a work because I have something to say, and I’ve kept that promise.”
 
 
Victor Yates - Victor's Webpage
Victor Yates was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and now lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Windy City Times, Edge, and The Voice. As a graduate of the Creative Writing program at Otis College, he is the recipient of an Ahmanson Foundation grant. He is the winner of the Elma Stuckey Writing Award (1st place in poetry) at Morehouse College. He received an Oprah Winfrey Scholarship and appeared on Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular show. Two of his poems were included in the anthology, For Colored Boys, which was edited by Keith Boykin. The book won the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award. Also, he has taught writing workshops at the University of Southern California, Job Corps, Whaley Middle School (Compton), Gindling Hilltop Camp (Malibu), and Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy (Inglewood). 

His novel, A Love Like Blood is a winner of the 2016 Lambda Literary Award, aka The Lammys for LGBT Debut Fiction.

He has read at the prestigious ALOUD Reading Series produced by Central Liberary in Downtown Los Angeles. He has read at West Hollywood Book Fair, the West Hollywood LIbrary, West Hollywood's City Council Chambers, One City, One Pride Arts Festival, and the Last Bookstore.