Jefferson Parish is the story of a boy, Matthew Laurent. Born during the post-desegregated south but before full acceptance of races "other" than his own, the white race. While much of the overt racism of the old south was gone, it was not totally eradicated. In fact, in the early 1980's there were still plenty of racist holdouts, unwilling to let their old, oppressive way die.
Not long after the death of his brother, Matthew's life would dramatically change forever. Feeling alone and struggling to make sense of the world, Matthew befriended a new classmate, Jamal. Jamal, a black boy new to Jefferson Parish...shy and reserved at first, he and Matt would form a bond that would last a lifetime. Both Matthew and Jamal had big dreams. The boys, each in search of something, but something very different from each other, wanted more than Jefferson Parish could offer.
Matthew would eventually find himself working in the Middle East where he would meet a beautiful young woman that made him feel something he had thought he had lost forever. Events would compel Matt to return to Jefferson Parish and force him to address both old and new wounds. Back in the parish, he soon realized that while some people were willing to change, others were not.
Matt's life is one of turmoil, though he himself is not tumultuous. Searching for meaning and stability, Matt's journey seems fraught with pain, yet he can't give up. Happiness might be right around the corner. Jefferson Parish is the story of family, by blood or other, racial intolerance, friendship and most of all forgiveness.
Michael was born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts. The son of an electrician and a computer networker, he worked in the electrical field among others for many years before returning to college. After earning his B.A. in political science Michael worked in higher education administration.
In addition to a B.A. in political science , Michael has been working towards a Masters in Military History. Over the years Michael has been appointed to numerous state boards and committees as well as sitting on a number of non-profit boards. In 2010 he interned for the White House Commission on Remembrance.
6 x 9 Paperback
Published: April 17, 2020