Fatima Shaik

Fatima Shaik, the author of seven books including the acclaimed “Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood,” is joining the Verite newsroom as a regular contributor.

Shaik’s sweeping history of the Société d’Economie et d’Assistance Mutuellea, a benevolent association and social club founded in New Orleans in 1836 by French-speaking freemen of African descent, was the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities 2022 Book of the Year. The New York Times Book Review said “Shaik’s rendition of her hometown is lyrical and mysterious and always captivating.”

Shaik also recently received a 2022 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, which honors “outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community.”

She is a native of New Orleans’s 7th Ward and has worked as a daily reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, assistant editor for McGraw-Hill World News and freelancer for several national and international magazines. She was the 2021 recipient of the Louisiana Writer Award.

Published by the Historic New Orleans Collection, “Economy Hall” will be released in paperback format in November.

Her other works include short story collections “The Mayor of New Orleans: Just Talking Jazz” and “What Went Missing and What Got Found.” She has published two children’s picture books, “The Jazz of Our Street” and “On Mardi Gras Day” and a young adult novel “Melitte.”

She is a former board member of The Writers Room and recently ended her time as a trustee of PEN America, the literary human rights organization. 

Her regular contribution to Verite will be Lit Louisiana, her way of highlighting the state’s contemporary literature and bringing significant books and authors from the past to the readers of Verite.

Verite is a Black-led nonprofit news organization with a twofold mission to produce in-depth journalism that serves the whole community while training, educating and mentoring a new generation of minority journalists.

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