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A Boy Should Know How To Tie A Tie And Other Lessons For Succeeding In Life. In Paperback September 20, 2016
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Antwone Fisher is an American screenwriter, poet, lecturer, and best-selling author. Antwone is the writer, co-producer and subject of the Fox Searchlight Pictures classic film, ANTWONE FISHER. His autobiographical book Finding Fish: A memoir is a New York Times and national bestseller.
Biography
From the Antwone Fisher sound track.
Antwone Fisher is an award-winning film and literary writer. Born in an Ohio prison to a teenage mother, Antwone became a ward of the state and was placed in foster care. He spent two years in a loving foster home, but was subsequently moved and suffered twelve years of abuse at the hands of his new foster family.

Unable to locate a new placement for him, at age 14, Antwone was sent to a reform school in western Pennsylvania were he remained until he graduated high school at 17. Emancipated from foster care, he found himself in the world alone and homeless, living on the streets of Cleveland.

Antwone set on a course of healing when he joined the United States Navy where he served his country for eleven years.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Antwone Fisher was appointed to the honorary rank of Chief Petty Officer by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the United States Navy, on October 5, 2009. This is an honor that Antwone holds with great pride. Antwone was awarded or earned the following ribbons and metals while serving on active duty: Navy E Ribbon, Two (2) Navy Good Conduct medals, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with three Bronze Stars.

After his honorable discharge from the U.S. military at the rank of E-5 (SH2), Antwone became a Federal Correctional Officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and after three years of service, he took a job at Sony Pictures Entertainment as a Security Officer. It was at Sony that Antwone was referred to a free screenwriting course.

Antwone has worked in Hollywood for over 20 years as a screenwriter and producer, with an impressive fourteen writing projects or assignments with the major studios. Among those projects is the feature classic, ANTWONE FISHER, directed by and staring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, written by Antwone based on his own life. The film garnered numerous nominations and awards. Antwone received the renowned Humanitas Prize,
The Screenwriter of the year award from the National Association Of Theater Owners, and was listed in Variety’s “Fifty People to Watch. ”Antwone was also listed among Fade In Magazine’s “100 People in Hollywood you need to know” in 2005. On May 10 2003, Antwone received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Cleveland State University. On April 23, 2013. Antwone testified before the Senate Finance Committee. The hearing titled: The Antwone Fisher Story as a Case Study for Child Welfare. Antwone’s first book, Finding Fish: a memoir, about his inspiring story became a New York Times and National Bestseller. His collection of poetry, Who Will Cry for the Little Boy? a national best seller creatively disclosed the road from his tumultuous childhood to the man he is today.

Antwone’s poetry is featured in Nikki Giovanni’s book, “Hip Hop Speaks to Children.” His third book, A Boy Should Know ow To Tie A Tie And Other Lessons For Succeeding In Life, won the award for best Literary Work- Instructional from the 2011 NAACP awards.

Antwone continues as a prolific writer with his stage project, ANTWONE FISHER: A PLAY; Antwone and 20th Century Fox are in partnership with this play. Antwone’s present screenwriting project is, "The Tortoise and The Hare,” with Anonymous Content and Bona Fide Productions producing. Antwone made his film directing debut with the award-winning short film, “My Summer Friend.” He produced wrote and directed the 2013 documentary, This Life of Mine. Antwone is represented by, Anonymous Content.

About how far he has come, Antwone states, “I think back on a childhood of longing for belonging, and see my life now as what I’ve created out of my dreams. An image comes to mind of Mr. Brown at the orphanage in Cleveland, me sitting at her side telling her, ‘You’ll read about me someday.’ I was definitely dreaming then. With no evidence of that ever being possible, I clung to that preposterous vision and with the force of the those dreams willed it and made it happen. Not because I needed to be famous, but because I needed a world that made me feel uninvited to be wrong. So I imagined myself free, I imagined myself loved, I imagined myself… as somebody.”
Speaker
FOSTER CARE
Antwone Fisher is very familiar with the challenges of life in the foster care, and the aftermath of teenage homelessness. Antwone addresses these issues with sensitivity, honesty and inspiration.
ANTWONE FISHER
The world first heard of Antwone Fisher’s Story of perseverance, determination, and courage in the film Antwone Fisher, and the publication of Finding Fish, his memoir of a childhood spent in foster care. It also learned that within him beat the heart of an artist — a major factor in his resilience and recovery. In his riveting and inspiring presentation (complete with lots of Q&A), Antwone shares how he learned to rise above his situation, how he found a family he never knew existed, and later how he went on to build a loving family of his own.
THE ARTS
Antwone has used the arts as a form of self expression to get him through his toughest times, and he talks about how all forms of art are so vital to the growth of human character indwell being.
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In Antwone’s moving, yet humorous keynote addresses, he shares his conviction of the importance of facing challenges of life head on and how to overcome or accept those challenges that you can not change. He explains the significance of self reliance, literacy, and building a life of consequence that improves oneself, the community and the society at large.

He tells of the necessity, no matter what the age, of making good personal choices, no matter how inconvenient the choice may be, and of the importance of reinventing oneself and preparing for every chapter of life. He also expounds on why it is essential to do these things in order to attain a successful and happy life.

Antwone details the philosophy he developed over his lifetime and explains how that philosophy brought him to the extraordinary success he enjoys today. It is the consummate, illuminating event.
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Baby Boy Fisher was raised in institutions from the moment of his birth in prison to a single teenage mother. He ultimately came to live with a foster family, where he endured near-constant verbal and physical abuse.

In his mid-teens he escaped and enlisted in the navy, where he became a man of the world, raised by the family he crated for himself.

Finding Fish shows how, out of this unlikely mix of deprivation and hope, an artist was born-first as a child who painted the feelings his words dared not speak, then as a poet and storyteller who would eventually become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after screenwriters.

A tumultuous and ultimately gratifying tale of self-discovery written in Fisher’s gritty yet melodic literary voice, Finding Fish is an unforgettable reading experience.
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THE RAIN THAT FALLS


“Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain.

This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain.

Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it.

Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.”

Antwone Quenton Fisher, Finding Fish: A Memoir

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Antwone marry the woman, Cheryl, depicted in the film Antwone Fisher?
Antwone did not marry Cheryl. They both were stationed at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, and became close confidants. Antwone explains this relationship and others related to his emotional growth in his memoir, Finding Fish: a memoir, beautifully.
Did Antwone ever develop a relationship with his birth mother after meeting her?
Antwone and his birth mother did not develop a meaningful relationship after their meeting. They did communicate on occasion, but theirs was never a mother and son interaction. Antwone’s birth mother died in her sleep in June of 2010.
Did Antwone continue his relationship with the Navy Commander who served as his therapist during the period depicted in the film?
Antwone and LT. Commander Williams did not continue a relationship beyond what was shown in the film and was written of in his memoir, Finding Fish: a memoir.

The U.S. Navy Commander was a Commissioned Officer, and Antwone was a Petty Officer, (an enlisted man). The two military rank structures are forbidden to fraternize.
Is there any information about the foster mother that Antwone lived with during the time depicted in the film and memoir.
When Antwone was removed from her home at age 14, he was never returned to her. But he did learn some years ago, that she lived until the age of 96, and passed away in the deep south where she had originated.
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by Joel Siegel
Dec. 24, 2002
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Joel Siegel Reviews ‘Antwone Fisher’
ANTWONE FISHER “Antwone Fisher — This is Denzel Washington's directorial debut. He waited until he found a powerful story he wanted to tell — and he tells it with the same meticulous care he brings to his performances.

This is another true story, and the story behind the film is almost as heart-rending and life-affirming as the film itself. The real Antwone Fisher was working as a guard on the lot at Sony Pictures. He befriended a producer and told him his story.

page Fisher's mother was in jail when he was born. His father had been murdered two months before. As a young child, he was physically, verbally and sexually abused.

"You know, that's really a movie," Fisher's produer-friend said. "Let me help show you how to write it."

Derek Luke, the man who plays Fisher, was selling candy at the Sony commissary.

In one scene, Fisher goes to Cleveland, where he was raised, to try to find his biological family. The social worker asks "Where were you born?"

When fisher replies, "Ohio State Correctional Facility for Women," I lost it. I was in tears.

The true miracle is Antwone Fisher survived at all. As director, Washington tells this story so beautifully. It's not only a great film, it's the kind that can change people's lives. Grade: A-” ― Joel Siegal, ‘Antwone Fisher’


by Rodger Ebert
Dec. 20, 2002
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Rodger Ebert Reviews ‘Antwone Fisher’
ANTWONE FISHER (2002) Cast Derek Luke as Antwone Fisher Denzel Washington as Jerome Davenport Joy Bryant as Cheryl Smolley Salli Richardson as Berta Novella Nelson as Mrs. Tate Earl Billings as James Viola Davis as Eva May Vernee Watson-Johnson as Annette Directed by Denzel Washington Written by Antwone Fisher Drama Rated PG-13 For Violence, Language and Mature Thematic Material Involving Child Abuse 113 minutes | Roger Ebert December 20, 2002 | Print Page Antwone Fisher is a good sailor but he has a hair-trigger temper, and it lands him in the office of the base psychiatrist, Dr. Jerome Davenport. He refuses to talk. Davenport says he can wait. Naval regulations require them to have three sessions of therapy, and the first session doesn't start until Antwone talks. So week after week, Antwone sits there while the doctor does paperwork, until finally they have a conversation: "I understand you like to fight." "That's the only way some people learn." "But you pay the price for teaching them." This conversation will continue, in one form or another, until Fisher (Derek Luke) has returned to the origin of his troubles, and Davenport (Denzel Washington) has made some discoveries as well. "Antwone Fisher," based on the true story of the man who wrote the screenplay, is a film that begins with the everyday lives of naval personnel in San Diego and ends with scenes so true and heartbreaking that tears welled up in my eyes both times I saw the film.

I do not cry easily at the movies; years can go past without tears. I have noticed that when I am deeply affected emotionally, it is not by sadness so much as by goodness. Antwone Fisher has a confrontation with his past, and a speech to the mother who abandoned him, and a reunion with his family, that create great, heartbreaking, joyous moments.

The story behind the film is extraordinary. Fisher was a security guard at the Sony studio in Hollywood when his screenplay came to the attention of the producers. Denzel Washington was so impressed he chose it for his directorial debut. The newcomer Derek Luke, cast in the crucial central role after dozens of more experienced actors had been auditioned, turned out to be a friend of Antwone's; he didn't tell that to the filmmakers because he thought it would hurt his chances. The film is based on truth but some characters and events have been dramatized, we are told at the end. That is the case with every "true story." The film opens with a dream image that will resonate through the film: Antwone, as a child, is welcomed to a dinner table by all the members of his family, past and present. He awakens from his dream to the different reality of life on board an aircraft carrier. He will eventually tell Davenport that his father was murdered two months before he was born, that his mother was in prison at the time and abandoned him, and that he was raised in a cruel foster home. Another blow came when his closest childhood friend was killed in a robbery. Antwone, who is constitutionally incapable of crime, considers that an abandonment, too.

As Antwone's weekly sessions continue, he meets another young sailor, Cheryl Smolley (Joy Bryant). He is shy around her, asks Davenport for tips on dating, keeps it a secret that he is still a virgin. In a time when movie romances end in bed within a scene or two, their relationship is sweet and innocent. He is troubled, he even gets in another fight, but she sees that he has a good heart and she believes in him.

Davenport argues with the young man that all of his troubles come down to a need to deal with his past. He needs to return to Ohio and see if he can find family members. He needs closure. At first Fisher resists these doctor's orders, but finally, with Cheryl's help, he flies back. And that is where the preparation of the early scenes pays off in confrontations of extraordinary power.

Without detailing what happens, I will mention three striking performances from this part of the movie, by Vernee Watson-Johnson as Antwone's aunt, by Earl Billings as his uncle, and by Viola Davis as his mother. Earlier this year, Davis appeared as the maid in "Far from Heaven" and as the space-station psychiatrist in "Solaris." Now this performance. It is hard to believe it is the same actress. She hardly says a word, as Antwone spills out his heart in an emotionally shattering speech.

Antwone's story is counterpointed with the story of Dr. Davenport and his wife, Berta (Salli Richardson). There are issues in their past, too, and in a sense Davenport and Fisher are in therapy together. There is a sense of anticlimax when Davenport has his last heartfelt talk with Antwone, because the film has reached its emotional climax in Ohio and there is nowhere else we want it to take us. But the relationship between the two men is handled by Washington, as the director, with close and caring attention. Hard to believe Derek Luke is a newcomer; easy to believe why Washington decided he was the right actor to play Antwone Fisher.

Read reviews of ‘Antwone Fisher”
EMAIL ANTWONE
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Antwone Fisher P.O. Box: Updated soon.
Please do not email or send by postal mail the following:

books, films, CD’s, lyrics, music demos, transcripts, manuscripts, short stories, story ideas, screenplays, teleplays, treatments, proposals of any kind, poems, or any other intellectual work. It will be destroyed upon receipt. Antwone does not work as an agent. He will not make introductions of any sort.

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After watching Denzel Washington’s film, “Antwone Fisher,” and hearing Who ‘Will Cry For the Little Boy’ on the movie, I was deeply movie; I was deeply moved by this poem that I started looking on the internet for Antwone’s published work (if there was any at that time). Surprisingly there was and this was one of the books that I picked up.The book cover a wide range of poetic works that anyone can defiantly relate to. I have to admit, Antwone is one of the most talented writers that I’ve ever read in my time. I look forward to more of his thoughts, feeling and poems if he divides to continue writing.
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Antwon Fish has never hesitated from sharing the valuable lessons he’s learned in life, and his latest book presents a collection of great advice that all young men can benefit. In A Boy Should Know How To Tie A Tie, Fisher examines self worth and identity and explores what it means to live as a man of grace and purpose. He illustrates while self image and personality are created on the inside, a man’s character is reflected by the way he presents himself on the outside. This is a important bit of truth, and I urge young men everywhere to read Fisher’s compelling guide manhood.
President Bill Clinton
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WHO WILL CRY FOR THE LITTLE BOY?

Who will cry for the Little boy?
Lost and all alone.
Who will cry for the little boy?
abandoned without his own?

Who will cry for the little boy?
He cried himself to sleep.
Who will cry for the little boy?
He never had for keeps.

Who will cry for the little boy?
He walked the burning sand.
Who will cry for the little boy?
The boy inside the man.

Who will cry for the little boy?
Who knows well hurt and pain.
Who will cry for the little boy?
He died and died again.

Who will cry for the little boy?
A good boy he tried to be.
Who will cry for the little boy?
Who cries inside of me?

- Antwone Fisher
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