As a young, quiet boy, stories for Jamar. J. Perry helped to shape who he is today; they were windows into realms of possibility, into the feel and threads of magic, and he is excited to share that feeling with others.
Jamar attended Berea College in Berea, KY, studying psychology at first to the excitement of his parents. Understanding that this field was not his true calling after a year of study, Jamar switched his major to English Literature with a concentration in Education, where he studied the structure and power of contemporary literature while learning how to teach it to middle and high school students. After graduation, Jamar became a middle school teacher in the Washington, D.C. area, hoping to instruct the next generation of scholars, thinkers, and writers.
While teaching, Jamar thought he wanted to be an administrator, leaving his passion for literature behind. He enrolled into a graduate program where he studied educational leadership. After four years of teaching and finishing his Master’s degree, he decided that administration was not his goal in life, as his love for reading and writing would never leave him. He decided to enroll into a PhD program at the University of Maryland, College Park, hoping that he could continue his love for literature and education.
While at the University of Maryland, College Park, Jamar’s research focused on Black boys, the history of traditional and Black masculinity in America, and racial literacy. With this renewed research focus, he began to write again, writing stories for the type of reader he always wanted to engage: reluctant readers, Black boys who needed to understand that they were magic, that they could also have joy, that they could be vulnerable and emotional, that they could be the hero in their own stories.