NEW ORLEANS — Keturah Kendrick knew from a young age that she wanted to be different.

"I have nothing against women who choose a traditional path, who pray for their husband, who really want to mother," Kendrick said.

She didn't realize that she would get so much push back for her decision.

"I grew up in New Orleans. When you grow up in the Bible Belt, that particular woman is placed in a hierarchy," Kendrick said. "So, I wanted to make a point to write from the experience of a woman who has chosen a different path and to give it legitimacy."

She did just that. Her book is titled "No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone."

In the book, she shared stories of women who have chosen a non-traditional lifestyle in an attempt to destroy the narrow definition of what it means to be a woman.

Kendrick hopes that she will encourage all women to live their lives with intention.

"Live your life. Live it with joy, with agency and without explanations," Kendrick said. "Just make sure it truly is your life that you are living." 

---

The next book is about how schools shaped the racial order and urban landscape of New Orleans: Walter Stern's book "Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City, 1764-1960."

"The book is really about the creation of segregation, the creation of institutionalization of white supremacy, and the subordination of African-Americans. And that process took a lot of work," Stern said.

Stern is an assistant professor of Educational Policy Studies and History at the Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison.

"I grew up in New Orleans," he said. "I grew up very well off in the Garden District. Went to private school. It was very evident to me at a young age that city was segregated."

He said he wanted to find out why opportunities in the city were not equally available to all races.

"Things aren't just the way they are by chance or because some people work harder than others," Stern said.

Stern says his book uncovered a deeper story.

"One thing I hope people take away from my book and the broader history of racial inequality and segregation is that it's not simply a story that belongs in the past," Stern said. The repercussions continue to the present day. You look at health disparities between black and white individuals."

---

And if you love self-help books, pick up a copy of "Live, Learn, Love: With an Open Heart, Life Lessons on Cultivating Healthy and Meaningful Relationships."

"It's about relationships. Learning to appreciate the variety of relationships in our lives," author Teriece Reynolds said.

Reynolds' book touches on relationships with spouses, family members and finances. She encourages us to learn from all of them.

"Ok, the relationship didn't work out the way you wanted. That's still a lesson and blessing," Reynolds said. "What did you learn about others? What did you learn about yourself?"

Upcoming Event: Come Chat and Chew with Author Teriece Cherell

  • Saturday July 20, 2019
  • 3:30pm-5:30pm
  • Pjs Coffee Shop 5733 Read Blvd New Orleans, La 70127

---

The final book is titled "The Reflection Eyes See" by Shametria Gonzales and her 10-year-old daughter Averianna.

Shametria's life has been filled with all kinds of trauma, including domestic abuse, but she completely changed her narrative. She got a job at the New Orleans Family Justice Center and became an advocate for women who went through experiences like she did.

Shametria is now a speaker who helps women and children to redevelop themselves after dealing with trauma.

Shametria and Averianna are hosting a luncheon and book signing Saturday, July 20 form 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Sha’Jollies Banquet Hall at 6940 Martin Drive.

For more on Shametria's work and to get her book, click here. 

---

WWL-TV anchor Sheba Turk can be reached at sturk@wwltv.com;