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2nd Annual Black History Month Literary Weekend expands due to popular demand

Meet the World Image Solutions’ Second Annual Black History Month New Orleans Literary Weekend has grown even bigger, so much so that the stage play has moved to a larger venue.

“The support we have received for this year’s event has been overwhelming,” said Rhonda M. Lawson, founder and president of Meet the World Image Solutions, LLC. “I am so excited that the community has gotten behind our literary weekend. This is what it’s all about!”

The participating authors for the 2018 Black History Month New Orleans Literary Weekend include Marvin Bryson, screenwriter and author of Expectancy: A Caregiver's Story of Navigating Family Issues Between Retirement and Transition, private chef and business owner Diana Riley, author of Cooking on Purpose: Life Lessons Learned from the Kitchen, inspirational author Felicia Brookins, author of Sister Nadeen’s Ways, inspirational author Lynette Edwards, author of Take Off the Mask, Keisha Lapsley, inspirational author, playwright and CEO of Inherited Kingdom Enterprises, inspirational author Brittany Lenore, author of Blind Faith, Paula Johnson Hutchinson, author and owner of Second to None Salon, and Jasiri Basel, technologist and author of 101 Things I Wish My Father Taught Me.

A free writers’ workshop will kick off the weekend at 11 a.m., Feb. 23 at the Norman Mayer Library, located at 3001 Gentilly Blvd. The workshop will include a panel discussion on writing tips and the relationship between literacy and African American history. Featured speakers will be motivational speaker Wil Cason and Felicia Young, CEO of Higher Minds of Education. However, just prior to the workshop, the authors will visit students at St. Mary’s Academy and speak to the Male Academy and high school students.

On Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10:30 a.m., Meet the World Image Solutions will host a literary jazz brunch featuring the New Orleans Jazz Group Yisrael at the Tombar Life Center, located at 1683 North Claiborne Avenue, New Orleans, LA, 70116. The brunch will feature Francheska Felder, CEO of SwagHer Magazine, and Rose Bratcher, New Orleans’ first African American Zen monk. The winners of the Meet the World Image Solutions Black History Month Essay Contest will also be awarded. One winner will be selected from each grade to receive $100 and scholarship materials sponsored by Higher Minds of Education, LLC. SwagHer Magazine, also an event sponsor, will also publish each winner’s essay on their website. Another key addition to the brunch is local talk show personality Renada Collins, who will emcee the program.

“I am ecstatic to have Renada join our weekend,” Lawson said. “She has a large personality that will really make the brunch unforgettable. She has been doing so many incredible things in the city, and I’m just happy that we are a part of it.”

The final event of the weekend will be the premiere of Cheatin’ in the Next Room: The Stageplay, which will take place on the evening of Feb. 24 at 7:30 pm following a free pre-production social, which will begin at 5:30 pm. The play has received such an overwhelming response that it has been moved to the Landry-Walker High School Theater. The play, directed by New Orleans veteran actors Rose Bratcher and Kirk Bush, is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Rhonda M. Lawson, and will star New Orleans actor and director Dominque McClellan, Clairica Lange, and Terreze Williams. Also featured will be Jeanette Scott, Teddo November, Amber Ned, Willie Lee, and Demetrius Bradley. Early bird tickets are sold out, but advance tickets are still on sale for $30. Group rates are also available.

“Moving venues can be a stressful time, but it just tells me that our community is just as excited as we are,” Lawson said. “The change in venue also gives us the opportunity to better support our city’s students as well as our wonderful authors, many of whom are traveling from very far to be here.”

Additional information on the Black History Month New Orleans Literary Weekend can be found on the Meet the World Image Solutions website or by calling 504-505-5894. Tickets for the literary brunch and stage play are available on Eventbrite. Combo and group tickets are available.

Meet the World Image Solutions, LLC is a boutique public relations firm that specializes in assisting small business, non-profit organizations, authors, and artists.  It was founded Jan. 23, 2017 by author and U.S. Army veteran Rhonda M. Lawson as a vehicle to promote entrepreneurs with smaller advertising budgets. Since its founding, Meet the World has hosted two major literary events and airs Horizons With Meet the World Image Solutions, a literary talk show, on the New Orleans Talk Network each Wednesday at 7 pm CST.

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