About Jean

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or more specifically West Philly. Bucking statistics and conventional wisdom, I grew up in a stable one-parent household headed by my mother. In fact, there was so much consistency that long lost childhood friends have tracked me down with her home phone number, which has been the same all of my life.  That’s not to say that growing up in the inner city didn’t have its challenges, there were plenty–not unlike today. There was too much violence and not enough quality education.  Despite the obvious pitfalls of the hood, I had the opportunity to attend Temple University, which I took full advantage of; I graduated magna cum laude from its School of Communications with a B.A. in Journalism.

My plan was to be a famous journalist, to travel the world and tell great stories. But I also knew I wasn’t quite done with my education, so I went to law school to continue to build my writing and researching skills.  My first job after graduation was at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. I learned so much in the short time I was there. The biggest lesson, hands down, was that there were too many African-American males finding their way through the criminal justice system.

While I was all for justice, intuitively, I knew that there were greater and more systemic reasons for the high volume.

I moved on to Legal Aid and worked three fulfilling years as a family law attorney. There, I was able to help low-income battered women escape domestic violence and gain their independence by negotiating divorce, custody and spousal and child support cases.

While hosting my own weekly talk radio show called A View From the Summit, I had the opportunity to research gun violence in the inner city and the impact on black boys. What I learned was devastating.  It inspired me to write a story exploring violence, race and the criminal justice system from the perspective of an African-American mother. This turned into my novel Endangered, which you should purchase right now ☺.

I currently live in Illinois with my husband Charles and our two daughters. Though I love, love, love my adopted home, I keep a 215 area code on my cell phone in order to represent my beloved Philly.  Right this minute, I am working on my next novel, so check back soon for details. signature

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