USM grad and author to sign book on campus
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 00:10
A book signing by local author and University of Southern Mississippi alumnus will be held Friday at Barnes & Noble on campus from noon until 2 p.m.
Author Johnny Ishmel Henry graduated from USM in 1980 with a degree in sociology and a minor in psychology. He has written four books: “Reflections of Life from the Heart and Soul,” “Diversity vs. Racism: A Challenge to Mankind,” “Success: The Inner Treasures of Life” and “The Adventures of Astro-Kid and Space Dog Leroy.”
“These books are written from the heart and soul with a strong southern background and context,” Henry said. “They relate to everyday people,”
Henry’s most recent book, “Diversity vs. Racism: A Challenge to Mankind,” which was published in July 2012, is just that – a challenge to mankind to forget the notion of race that stifles our progression so we can counterbalance the negative effects of biased thinking at all levels of society.
“It is about how to deal with current situations in our country like racism, sexism and homophobism,” Henry said, “It’s these –isms that have America sick. This book will enlighten you on how to embrace this diversity.”
“Reflections of Life from the Heart and Soul” is a collection of poetry written by Henry and was coauthored by Gabrielle Darville. A native of the Bahamas, Darville is also a USM graduate and holds a Master of Public Health degree.
The book attempts to deploy a fusion of two different writing styles offering versatility and embodying the true essence of artistry, while the overall theme is finding a happy medium within oneself while traversing the maze of life, according to xlibris.com.
Henry’s book “The Adventures of Astro-Kid and Space Dog Leroy” differs from his previous books in that it falls in the realm of science fiction, but it stays true to his uncanny ability to make stark societal and motivational commentary seen in his previous works.
“It is about young, disadvantaged kids that feel left out of the system,” Henry said. “I want them to know that they too have a right to be in control of their destiny.”
Henry is a native of Soso, Miss. Before graduating from USM, Henry also attended Alcorn State University.
A 2007 Poet of the Year, Henry is a member and advocate for the Mississippi Arts Commission for artists and writers.
Aside from his work as an author, Henry is also a counselor, professional speaker, leadership seminar specialist, drug and alcohol prevention specialist and the inventor of the vibrating toilet seat, which debuted in 2008 on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”