Fatima Shaik is the author of Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free, Black Brotherhood (The Historic New Orleans Collection, February 2021). She was born in the historic Seventh Ward of New Orleans and bred on the oral histories of Black Creoles told by her family and neighbors. Only after she read the records of the Economie—3,000 pages of handwritten French stored in her family’s home—did she realize this community’s impact. She spent two decades reading the journals and documenting events with real estate records, legal cases, old monographs, and articles. A former Assistant Professor at Saint Peter’s University and daily journalist, Shaik is a trustee of PEN America and member of The Writers Room in NYC. Economy Hall is her first work of nonfiction and her seventh book.