By Cayman Clevenger, Chairman of the Board of the Bayou Brief, New Orleans, LA

On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in a packed conference room on the second floor of The Advocate’s New Orleans headquarters, Lamar White, Jr., founder and publisher of the Bayou Brief, was honored as one of Gambit’s 40 Under 40, a well-deserved recognition of a lifetime spent in pursuit of a better Louisiana while always embracing and chronicling the unparalleled beauty of this state and its people.

Honoree Lamar White Jr (center) pictured with his lifelong pal Daniel (left) and mother Carol (right) at Gambit’s 40 Under 40 celebration in New Orleans.

I’m often asked why I believed it was so critically important that Louisiana have a statewide nonprofit journalism outfit. For me that’s a simple answer: we need a publication that is singularly focused on the art, culture, news, people, and politics of Louisiana. Lamar and I share a deep and abiding love for this State above all else. Lamar, better than anyone I’ve ever read, explains the way I feel about Louisiana in his piece “In Defense of Louisiana’s Magic,” a response to a major national publication writing a piece about Louisiana not being “made of magic.”

We need local voices like Lamar’s, Sue Lincoln’s, and our other fantastic contributors at the Bayou Brief to defend and preserve Louisiana’s institutions and our magical culture.

Truly, Lamar’s ability to take the written word, even when writing about the mundane or confusing, and make it all at once interesting, moving, relatable, and powerful, is truly a gift and a cultivated skill that is fully deserving of the accolades of Gambit’s Top 40 under 40. It is also deserving of the support of the readers of the Bayou Brief, and of the respect of everyone fortunate enough to have ever called this State home.

Please join me in congratulating Lamar on a well-deserved honor!