Soon to be a Showtime documentary, Murder in the Bayou is a New York Times bestselling chronicle of a high-stakes investigation into the murders of eight women in a troubled Southern parish that is “part murder case, part corruption exposé, and part Louisiana noir” (New York magazine). Between 2005 and 2009, the bodies of eight women were discovered in Jennings, Louisiana, a bayou town of 10,000 in the Jefferson Davis parish. The women came to be known as the Jeff Davis 8, and local law enforcement officials were quick to pursue a serial killer theory, stirring a wave of panic across Jennings’ class-divided neighborhoods. The Jeff Davis 8 had been among society’s most vulnerable—impoverished, abused, and mired with mental illness. They engaged in sex work as a means of survival. And their underworld activity frequently occurred at a decrepit motel called the Boudreaux Inn. As the cases went unsolved, the community began to look inward. Rumors of police corruption and evidence tampering, of collusion between street and shield, cast the serial killer theory into doubt. But what was really going on in the humid rooms of the Boudreaux Inn? Why were crimes going unsolved and police officers being indicted? What had the eight women known? And could anything be done do stop the bloodshed? Mixing muckraking research and immersive journalism over the course of a five-year investigation, Ethan Brown reviewed thousands of pages of previously unseen homicide files to posit what happened during each woman’s final hours delivering a true crime tale that is “mesmerizing” (Rolling Stone) and “explosive” (Huffington Post). “Brown is a man on a mission...he gives the victims more respectful attention than they probably got in real life” (The New York Times). “A must-read for true-crime fans” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), with a new afterword, Murder in the Bayou is the story of an American town buckling under the dark forces of poverty, race, and class division—and a lightning rod for justice for the daughters it lost.
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Dispatches of radical political engagement from people taking a stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline It is prophecy. A Black Snake will spread itself across the land, bringing destruction while uniting Indigenous nations. The Dakota Access Pipeline is the Black Snake, crossing the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The oil pipeline united communities along its path—from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois—and galvanized a twenty-first-century Indigenous resistance movement marching under the banner Mni Wiconi—Water Is Life! Standing Rock youth issued a call, and millions around the world and thousands of Water Protectors from more than three hundred Native nations answered. Amid the movement to protect the land and the water that millions depend on for life, the Oceti Sakowin (the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota people) reunited. A nation was reborn with renewed power to protect the environment and support Indigenous grassroots education and organizing. This book assembles the multitude of voices of writers, thinkers, artists, and activists from that movement. Through poetry and prose, essays, photography, interviews, and polemical interventions, the contributors, including leaders of the Standing Rock movement, reflect on Indigenous history and politics and on the movement’s significance. Their work challenges our understanding of colonial history not simply as “lessons learned” but as essential guideposts for current and future activism. Contributors: Dave Archambault II, Natalie Avalos, Vanessa Bowen, Alleen Brown, Kevin Bruyneel, Tomoki Mari Birkett, Troy Cochrane, Michelle L. Cook, Deborah Cowen, Andrew Curley, Martin Danyluk, Jaskiran Dhillon, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Liz Ellis, Nick Estes, Marcella Gilbert, Sandy Grande, Craig Howe, Elise Hunchuck, Michelle Latimer, Layli Long Soldier, David Uahikeaikalei‘ohu Maile, Jason Mancini, Sarah Sunshine Manning, Katie Mazer, Teresa Montoya, Chris Newell, The NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective, Jeffrey Ostler, Will Parrish, Shiri Pasternak, endawnis Spears, Alice Speri, Anne Spice, Kim TallBear, Mark L. Tilsen, Edward Valandra, Joel Waters, Tyler Young.
When Professor Clarence Nero and his teaching colleagues walked into their classrooms for the first time after the tumultuous summer of 2016-a summer that in Baton Rouge had seen the murders of Alton Sterling and innocent police officers as well as a vast and historic flood-they had no idea what to expect from students. This wasn't any ordinary semester at Baton Rouge Community College. Many enrolled students had lost their homes due to flooding; most were still reeling from the shootings and the subsequent protests and riots that rocked the capital city. There were students who had been traumatized in ways that defied simple explanations. Not only did Professor Nero understand that they were pain-he had lived with and through the same hellish nightmare that summer-he was determined to let them give expression to their experiences and reactions. Having seen this type of racial tension fuel students' creativity in the film Freedom Writers, based on actual classroom experiences of Erin Gruwell, Professor Nero showed the movie to students in his English classes. The result was an instant connection: the diverse women and men he was teaching identified with the students in Ms. Gruwell's class who had shared stories of frustration and pain growing up in racially hostile, violent communities in South Central Los Angeles. Before long, students in Professor Nero's classes were sharing their own stories, too, writing narratives and engaging in intense conversations in the classroom around race in south Louisiana. The idea caught on like wildfire around the college; other professors similarly challenged their students, and the school's Creative Writing Club members likewise joined in the effort. Students who had begun the semester in varying states of distress were writing powerful and unforgettable accounts of their shared experiences coming of age in the South. Thus, Voices from the Bayou was born: a collection of heartwarming and heartbreaking narratives told by college students who bravely put it all on the line during a time when our country is most divided, after a contentious presidential election. Their courageous stories of dealing with racism, the police, and the flood in Baton Rouge will leave an indelible impression, reminding readers that our young people are ever watching and their voices must be heard and studied for peace and humanity's survival. BATON ROUGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit, has generously aided in the publication of this collection of student narratives. All proceeds from sales of this book will go towards the foundation; in turn, the foundation will help the students who participated in this project continue their education, will assist BRCC faculty with professional development, will facilitate student programming at the college and at literary events for high school students, and will provide scholarship funding for future BRCC students. Visit MYBRCC.edu/foundation to order your ebook copy today for only $10 dollars!
Discusses the lives of civil rights leader Medgar Evers and his assassin Byron De La Beckwith.
Uses excerpts from newspapers and editorials and accounts of the murder and trial to examine the lynching of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, in a volume which also contains selections from poems, songs, interviews, essays, and memoirs relating to the incident.
In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country—a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets—among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident—people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children. Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream—and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?
Black Water Rising was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. On a dark night, out on the Houston bayou to celebrate his wife's birthday, Jay Porter hears a scream. Saving a distressed woman from drowning, he opens a Pandora's Box. Not the lawyer he set out to be, Jay long ago made peace with his radical youth, tucked away his darkest sins and resolved to make a fresh start. His impulsive act out on the bayou is heroic, but it puts Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him is practice, his family and even his life. Before he can untangle the mystery that stretches to the highest reaches of corporate power, he must confront the demons of his past. A provocative thriller with an exhilarating climax, Black Water Rising marks the arrival of an electrifying new talent.
In Stillwater, Missippi, in 1955, thirteen-year-old African American Rose Lee Carter looks to her family and friends to understand her place in the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement.