Writers of Color Featured at Diverse Literary Voices of Texas February 22, 2020

February 12, 2020 Leave a comment

Alberta Phillips

In honor of Black History Month and communities of color, KAZI Book Review invites you to join us at the Austin Community College Riverside Campus, Building G, Room 8100 on Saturday, February 22 for the next event in the Diverse Literary Voices of Texas Writer Series.  It features three panel discussions with writers discussing black journalism, familial love in young adult fiction, and the representation of justice in art.

The writer series kicked off January 23 at Huston-Tillotson University Library with a panel discussion on confronting white nationalism through literature and news.  On February 22 the event starts with a Black History Month panel on The Future of Black Journalism moderated by Alberta Phillips, Journalist and former Editorial Writer, Austin-American Statesman. The panelists will include:

              • Kahron Spearman, Freelance Journalist, Austin Chronicle
              • Billy Carr, News Director, KAZI 88.7 FM
              • Roxanne Evans,Owner, Evans Communication and former Chief Editorial Writer, Austin American-Statesman
              • John L. Hanson, Host and Producer of nationally syndicated radio series In Black America
Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester

The second panel is Forever Complicated: Familial Love & the Question of Belonging in YA, moderated by Natalia Sylvester, author of the forthcoming YA novel RUNNING (May 5, 2020).  The panelists are:

  • Ruben Degollado, author of THROW,
  • Addie Tsai, author of DEAR TWIN
  • Sherry Thomas, author of THE MAGNOLIA SWORD: A BALLAD OF MULAN.
Chaitali Sen

Chaitali Sen

And the final panel is Borderless: Conversations on Art, Action, and Justice, moderated by Chaitali Sen, author of THE PATHLESS SKY.  The panelists are:

              • Desiree Evans, MFA Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin
              • Dena Afrasiabi, Publications Editor, Center for Middle Eastern Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
              • Fernando Flores, author of TEARS OF A TRUFFLEPIG

The Diverse Literary Voices of Texas is sponsored in part by PEN America, HEB, Austin Community College Department of Creative Writing and Black Student Success Committee, Capital Metro, and Velva Price, District Clerk.

Copies of the books of the authors participating will be available for purchase through a partnership with Malvern Books on February 22. A portion of the book sales will benefit Austin Community Radio. RSVP at EventBrite.

For more information contact Hopeton Hay via hopeton@kazifm.org.

Best Books of 2019

January 5, 2020 Leave a comment

KAZI Book Review Celebrating 10 Years on KAZI 88.7 FM

June 15, 2019 Leave a comment

KBR 10 Anniversary Art-RevisedKAZI Book Review debuted on KAZI 88.7 FM on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 12:30 p.m. with live interviews with T. J. Stiles, author of THE FIRST TYCOON: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt and W. Randall Jones, author of THE RICHEST MAN IN TOWN: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth. On June 7, 2009 I interviewed my first fiction author, Houston native Attica Locke, who discussed her debut novel, BLACK WATER RISING.  Since then over 500 authors have been interviewed on KAZI Book Review, the longest running broadcast radio book show in Texas.

Be sure to check out new pages I’ll be creating as part of the anniversary.  The newest page features five audio interviews from independent book publisher Akashic Books.



Categories: Uncategorized

My Reading List and Recommendations This Month

January 5, 2020 Leave a comment

Here are the nine books on my reading list this month that I’m recommending: THE ETHICAL SELLOUT, BREATHE, TAXING BLACKNESS, CRACK, and JOHN HERVEY WHEELER, BLACK BANKING AND THE STRUGGLE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS are nonfiction. HI FIVE (crime fiction), AFRICAVILLE (literary fiction), THE FREEDOM ARTIST (literary fiction), HUNTER KILLER (thriller) are novels.

A few books I’m planning to read and recommend for February are THE DARK CORNERS OF THE NIGHT (thriller) by Meg Gardiner, TROUBLE IS WHAT I DO (crime fiction) by Walter Mosley, and REMEMBERED (literary fiction) by Yvonne Battle-Felton. My full list of February recommendations will be posted in late January.

Categories: Uncategorized

PODCAST: Faith and Struggle in Lives of Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver and Muhammad Ali

June 28, 2019 Leave a comment

Randal Maurice Jelks, author of FAITH AND STRUGGLE IN THE LIVES OF FOUR AFRICAN AMERICANS: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams,Eldrige Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali, was the keynote author at the Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of KAZI Book Review on May 31 at the Carver Museum and Cultural Center in Austin, Texas.  In his book, Jelks examines their autobiographical writings, interviews, speeches, letters, and memorable performances to understand how each of these figures used religious faith publicly to reconcile deep personal struggles, voice their concerns for human dignity, and reinvent their public image.  Randal Maurice Jelks is Professor of American Studies and African American Studies at the University of Kansas.

I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Jelks for participating in the KAZI Book Review 10th Anniversary Celebration.  I also would like to thank to Velva Price and journalist Alberta Phillips-Bledsoe for participating in a panel discussion on faith with Dr. Jelks at the celebration.


Enclosed is an interview I taped with Dr. Jelks about his book:

PODCAST: The Story of Integration at The University of Texas at Austin

June 22, 2019 Leave a comment

On December 16, 2018 I interviewed Virginia Cumberbatch, co-editor of AS WE SAW IT: The Story of Integration at The University of Texas at Austin.  Included in the interview are excerpts from an interview I previously did with retired Colonel Leon Holland in 2016, who was part of the first class of African Americans to enroll as undergraduates in 1956 at UT Austin.


Ret. Colonel Leon Holland


Third Annual Celebration of Diverse Literary Voices of Texas February 22-23, 2019 at Austin Central Library

February 2, 2019 Leave a comment

The Third Annual Celebration of Diverse Literary Voices of Texas is sponsored by KAZI Book Review, hosted by the Austin Public Library and supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and PEN America.  It is also supported by sponsors HEB, Capital Metro, Travis County Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion, Austin Spurs, Velva Price. and Walter Muse.  Special thanks to the Austin Revitalization Authority for their support.


710 W. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, Texas


February 22, 2019 – RSVP For Friday

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Diverse Literary Voices of Texas Presents: An Evening With Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Author of the new historical black novel set during World War II, THE LAST THING YOU SURRENDER, and nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald

Moderator: Hopeton Hay, Host and Producer, KAZI Book Review; Founder, Celebration of Diverse Literary Voices of Texas


February 23, 2019 – RSVP For Saturday

10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Registration and Book Sales


10:30-11:15 a.m.

Zora Neale Hurston’s BARRACOON: The True Story of One of the Last Known Survivors of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Jennifer Baker, editor, EVERYDAY PEOPLE: The Color of Life—A Short Story Anthology, and host of Minorities in Publishing Podcast

Daina Ramey Berry, Professor of History at UT Austin and author of THE PRICE FOR THEIR POUND OF FLESH

Moderator: Julie Hudson, Assistant Professor of English, Huston-Tillotson University



From Roots to Bloom: Deconstructing Latinidad

Carrie Fountain, author, I’M NOT MISSING

Jasminne Méndez, author, NIGHT-BLOOMING JASMIN(N) e: Personal Essays & Poems

ire’ne lara silva,author, CUICACALLI/House of Song poetry collection

Moderator: Natalia Sylvester, author, EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME


12:10-12:55 p.m.

Everyday People: Diversity In Fantasy, Young Adult, and Short Story Fiction

Jennifer Baker, editor, EVERYDAY PEOPLE: The Color of Life—A Short Story Anthology, and host of Minorities in Publishing Podcast

Nicky Drayden, author, TEMPER

Jacob Grovey, author, THE DIFFERENTERS (YA)

Moderator: Billy Carr, KAZI 88.7 FM


12:55 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Book Sales 


1:15-2:15 p.m.

Voter Suppression and Role of Press in Safeguarding Democracy

Carol Anderson, author, ONE PERSON, NO VOTE: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy and Professor of African American Studies, Emory University

Gary Bledsoe, President, Texas NAACP and Interim Dean, Texas Southern University School of Law

Leonard Pitts, Jr., nationally syndicated columnist, Miami Herald, and author, THE LAST THING YOU SURRENDER

Moderator: Alberta Phillips-Bledsoe, Austin writer and journalist


2:30-3:15 p.m.

Violence Against Black Slaves/Prisoners and Ethnic Mexicans in Texas: From South Texas to Sugar Land

Diana Ramey Berry, author, THE PRICE FOR THEIR POUND OF FLESH: The Value of the Enslaved from Womb to Grave in the Building of a Nation

Monica Munoz Martinez, author, THE INJUSTICE NEVER LEAVES YOU:  Anti-Mexican Violence in the Texas Borderlands

Moderator: John Moran Gonzalez, Director, UT Austin Center for Mexican American Studies


3:30-4:15 p.m.

The Depiction of Immigration in Fiction and the Media Bots, Trolls, and Truth

Moderator: Douglas Criss, Digital Trending News Writer, CNN

Leonard Pitts, Jr., nationally syndicated columnist, Miami Herald, and author, THE LAST THING YOU SURRENDER

Chaitali Sen, author, THE PATHLESS SKY

Natalia Sylvester, author, EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME


4:15-5 p.m.

Book Sales