Joedy Barnes is the President of The Brownsman Award board, and the founding member of Brownsman. He has written poetry his entire life, and began to transform his black poetry into books in 2020. He has a wife and two children, Sebastian and Felicity, the inspiration behind his characters in Malcom Explains.
“I support Brownsman because I truly believe in the core tenants of promoting literacy in our children and reaching back to bring others up.”
– Joedy Barnes
More about Joedy and his work may be found HERE
LeTysha Montgomery is a best selling author, podcast host, endometriosis advocate, jewelry designer and empowerment speaker. She is the co-author of two books, Women Inspiring Nations: Volume 3 I’m Still Standing and She is Well Stories of Power, Strength, Wellness March 2021. She is a national empowerment speaker whose topic is advocating for your health and yourself; and, was a featured speaker at Speakercon 2020.
“I support Brownsman becuase they are all about supporting black excellence! They promote positive black books involving black love, black families, positivity and excellence!”
– LeTysha Montgomery
More about LeTysha and her work may be found HERE
Andre and Anthony-Marcel are a father and son duo. Andre is a single father, working in marketing and advertising industry, while Anthony-Marcel is a funny, super intelligent 3rd grader. The are the authors of ‘Ryan Lion: Hide and Seek”, a story about a father and son that launched in 2020. They are the co-owners of Ryan Lion Books.
“We support Brownsman because of their support of the Black Community and for granting black excellence an opportunity to shine.”
– Andre and Anthony-Marcel Wright
More about Andre and Anthony-Marcel and their work may be found HERE
Monica Leak is a speech-language pathologist in southern Maryland specializing in childhood speech and language disorders. She also serves as an academic librarian in northern Virginia. As part of her focus on language development, she has for several years cultivated a list of books celebrating African American Children’s and YA Literature during February, which has become widely shared with educators and now a live broadcast with Pharside Coed Book Club to highlight new and emerging authors.
As a young child browsing library and bookstore shelves finding characters that looked like me, had a similar or community was a rare find. I support the vision of the Brownsman Board to recognize and honor the work of African American authors.
Canadian author and screenwriter with Haitian roots, Vladimir Nicolas is the founder and President of the book publishing company, Les Éditions Cœur de Plumes. He has written and published his poetry books since 2007 before producing his first animated and live short films. Moreover, his poetry and films get inspired from the discusses on History, capitalism, poverty, racial minorities, social classes and feminisms in the modern world.
“I support Brownsman because literacy, knowledge and education are Powers, democratic arsenals at the reach of every individual and community to unlock the doors of our social mobility, our social cohesion, our financial opportunities and our freedoms, as intelligence has ever ruled the world since the dawn of the first human civilizations.”
– Vladimir Nicolas
Licensed Professional Counselor, Portia Smith, founded Imagine Me, Creative Book Publishing in 2019 with a goal of uplifting African American children through picture books featuring them as main characters.
Smith is a book winner featured on Exposure TV Network and has been featured in Impact Magazine, The Source Magazine, Black Parent Magazine, and Hip Hop Weekly Magazine, as a book publisher inspiring African American children everywhere.
I support Brownsman because I believe books featuring diverse characters written by authors with diverse identities are underrepresented in literature.
More about Portia and her work may be found HERE
Dr. Culbreth is a torchbearer and trailblazer passionate about being a part of the change needed in society with a focus on empowering people to reach higher ground. She is the executive producer and host of Complexity Talk Radio – Complexity Live, Inc. and Visibility, (a talk radio program focusing on girls and women of color), founder and principal researcher of The Intraracial Colorism Project, Inc., founder and CEO of I Am Beautiful Global, Inc., editor-in-chief of the Journal of Colorism Studies, president of Complexity Publishing, Inc., founder and CEO of the National Girls and Women of Color Council, Inc., executive director of the Pace Mentoring Program for girls and young women of color, managing partner and consultant at Culbreth, Jung & Severino, owner and artisan jewelry designer at Lady Culbreth Collection, LLC (launching in 2021), and business professor.
“Brownsman is the change needed trailblazing a path to lift and inspire our children, our culture, and the cause by focusing on giving the greatest gift society can give to a black child: instilling a strong sense of self (self-love, self-esteem, self-respect, self-pride, and self-identity) through the written word, in addition to providing opportunities for authors and illustrators to be a part of the change through positive creativity. After all, we are our brothers and sisters’ keepers.”
– Donnamaria Culbreth, Ph.D.
Reginald Williams is a subject-matter leader in cognitive behavioral education. The author of A Marginalized Voice: Devalued, Dismissed, Disenfranchised & Demonized, Reginald, helps clients identify and understand who they are and why they do what they do. Standing on the landscape of a legacy seeded by his ancestors—Reginald believes it is his responsibility to sow seeds of healing and restoration to harvest a vibrant and healthy people and community. As the founder of Callista Casey Publishing (a collaboration of his grandmother and grandfather’s first names), Reginald uses his publishing company to elevate the message of restoration.
“I honor Brownsman’s mission as an author and publisher of color, to be one who recognizes authors and illustrators of color. Subsequently, I choose to support those who avail themselves to a mission greater than themselves. The boldness to affirm the artistic greatness of Black people, rather than wait for people who are of non-color to affirm our artistic gift, is the root of a movement that will elevate Blacks to a rightful position.”
– Reginald Williams