Debunks Stereotypes of Absentee Dads
Since 1619 when the first Africans were brought to the shores of what would be called the United States, life for Blacks, to quote the poet Langston Hughes, “ain’t been no crystal stair.” But while Hughes, in his poignant poem “Mother to Son,” invites the listener to overhear a conversation between a concerned Black mother and her young son, those words of wisdom could have easily come from a Black father. And in his powerful and personal story, “Prove ‘Em Wrong,” Andrew Minott, a Jamaican-born promoter, producer, and music consultant, bravely shares those mountain-high and valley-low experiences that have shaped his life.
By the author’s own admission, he chose to reveal how the hardships and setbacks he has faced in his life have resulted in valuable lessons leading him to either accept disappointment or to emerge in triumph. More than just a means of baring his soul, Minott includes among the themes of his book, the pervasive stereotype of the absentee Black father. As a youth, Minott, as well as his brother, left Jamaica to join their father in America, only to find that their father had no intention of facilitating their dreams of a brighter future nor to forge a lasting relationship between him and his sons.
Despite the callousness of his father and the resulting deferment of his dreams, Minott, as he matured, remained resolute in becoming a better father to all his children – three sons, one daughter, two stepsons and three young men he helped raise. This serves as the passionate message he hopes to convey in “Prove ‘Em Wrong.”
“A lot of Black fathers, especially single dads, get a bad rap when it comes to how we interact with or fit in our children’s lives,” Minott said. “Society seems to enjoy spreading the message that all Black fathers are deadbeats – that we are never there for our kids. I wanted to share my story to tell dads that they can be present in their children’s lives, no matter what the obstacles – their moms, their finances, whatever.”
The Title Tells the Real Story
Minott said the title of his book came to him because of the repeated negative words he heard from so many adults throughout his formative years – declarations that he would never amount to anything – uttered by his father and his grandmother, in particular. “Before I was 18, I had only seen my father five times so when he brought me and my brother to the states, the last thing I expected was for him to pay our rent for two months and then say, ‘you’re on your own,’” he said. “When I told him I wanted to go to college, he refused to pay the tuition. When I told him I wanted to go to the Navy, he said I’d never make it – I was too skinny, too soft. He never said anything encouraging to me.”
“Even my grandmother, who pretty much raised me, said I had such a bad temper that she predicted I wouldn’t make it past my 19 th birthday. It seemed as if no one was listening to me. In fact, that’s been my personal moniker for many years. But experience can be a great teacher. It teaches you wisdom if you’re willing to pay attention.”
“Look, I entered the Navy at 18, served in the Persian Gulf, went through marriage, a heated divorce, and a lengthy battle for custody of my children, so I’ve traveled the roller coaster of life. But it’s made me a stronger, better and wiser man.”
“The title ‘Prove ‘Em Wrong’ mirrors how I’ve tried to live my life. I’ve proven people wrong repeatedly – it seems to flow from me. I’ve faced so many obstacles and survived such serious scenarios that there aren’t many things that I have not experienced. In advising my children, I’ve tried to tell them that there’s a natural order to things in the world. We can either learn from our mistakes or continue to commit those same errors over and over again.”
Minott, who achieved moderate success as a concert promoter and producer, dedicates his book to his cousin, Lincoln Barrington “Sugar” Minott, who he describes as the “unsung godfather of Jamaican music,” with hits that included “Rub A Dub Sound” and “No Vacancy.”
“Sugar was sometimes harsh but I learned more from him than anyone else I know,” he said. “He was the one who encouraged me to follow my passion, to ‘keep the music going,’ and was really the reason that I wrote ‘Prove ‘Em Wrong.” I wanted the book to be a tribute to him because he deserved more recognition based on his amazing music career.” Minott added, that Sugar was a superstar and the two had talked about getting together to discuss his book but he died, unexpectedly.
Minott, with the support of his publicists, Double XXposure Media Relations, Inc., along with Anchor Minott and Global Vybe Ent., held a book signing and party on February 1 at the Wynwood Racket Upscale Bar Lounge in Miami as part of Inner Circle’s Reggae Month Miami.
He concluded, “I’ve always had an eye for recognizing talent and then promoting new artists – putting them out into the spotlight. But I’ve never been an out front kind of person. Maybe, that’s about to change.”
@mcneirdk To order “Prove ‘Em Wrong,” go to Amazon at https://amzn.to/3ZZK8Rc .