Mentored Antwone Fisher?
Fisher is the author of The New York Times bestseller
Finding Fish. He is also the screenwriter of
the film Antwone Fisher, based on his life and
directed by Academy Award winner Denzel Washington.
Fisher lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.
With the publication of Finding Fish, his memoir
of a childhood spent in foster homes in and around Cleveland,
Antwone Fisher shared with the world his story of perseverance,
determination, and courage. And he also showed that
within him beats the heart of an artist -- a major factor
in his resilience and recovery.
Brenda Profitt was my elementary school teacher. She
was the first adult I ever trusted. She spoke to all
of us the same way. It was a tone of respect. And I
wasn't accustomed to being spoken to that way. I think
that being with her for three years made all the difference.
So whatever it was that she possessed, that she gave
to us, we kept.
meaningful times, the meaningful people, even the people
who were not so meaningful, but these people who have
done things in your life that make you what you are,
they're bricks in the building that you are. And if
you were to take Miss Profitt out, that brick--maybe
a cornerstone--would the whole building be able to stand
for very long?
Mrs. Brown was a volunteer at the orphanage where I
stayed for a while. And I would always sit at her side.
She would sit in a chair, knitting, and she was a motherly
kind of woman. I would sit next to her all the time.
told her...you know, one day I was like, really feeling
good for some reason. It was almost like some kind of...I
don't know what it was, but I really felt good. And
I told her, "You know, one day, you're going to
read about me." And she said, "Well, you know,
I hope it's for something good." I said, "Yeah.
Of course it's going to be for something good!"
And she said, "Okay. Well then, I'll wait and see
what it is that I'll be reading about you."
I saw her at a book-signing in Cleveland. She didn't
even know about the whole thing. And a friend of hers
brought her and told her it was me, and that I had wrote
about her in the book. And then she gave me this big
hug, and I asked her, "Did you read about me?"
She said, "Yes, I sure did."
Hearing positive things can have a good impact, but
I think as a kid you need to hear it constantly. There
always has to be a positive person in your life, someone.
don't consider myself to have had a family growing up,
because I don't feel like I was included. But I've had
family all along my life. Strangers who have come into
my life and out, and left me with encouraging words
and the feeling of worth. And they are my family. Some
of them I still know, some of them I don't know. But
they are mentors, and they're my family.