Fisher to bring story to campus

His name is Antwone Fisher. He’s a screenwriter, producer, storyteller- and a survivor.

Before the world praised him for his talents, it punished him for his misfortunes. Before he was recognized as a gifted writer, he was abandoned and abused. And before becoming an inspiration, he was a man in desperation, bordering the lines of crime and homelessness.

Fisher’s true-life story has been adapted into a movie and autobiography. The man himself comes to FAMU to share his life experience.

In a story by Asena Basak, Fisher’s story was the reason that famed actor Denzel Washington made his first attempt to work behind the scenes as director of the film “Antwone Fisher.” Washington said although developing the film was a “slow process” it was one “he wanted young people to relate to.”

In the film, Fisher is a sailor on the verge of being tossed out of the Navy for his violent outbursts and fighting. Fisher is turned over to the Navy psychiatrist as a last resort. Hesitant at first to discuss his problems, Fisher eventually allows himself to open up and share the source of his violent behavior, which evolved from a series of emotional, physical and sexual abuses during his childhood.

In Fisher’s autobiography, “Finding Fish: A Memoir,” the author goes into more intimate details of his life, the abuse of the children around him and the family members he never knew.

Fisher was born in a juvenile facility to his 17-year-old mother who was serving time for murder. His father was shot and killed by another girlfriend. Fisher spent his childhood growing up in the foster care system. It was here that he experienced physical and emotional abuse from his foster mother and sexual abuse from a neighbor.

Once he escaped the foster care system at 17, he found his new life, one on the streets, to be just as trying. It was not until Fisher enlisted in the Navy that he was forced to deal with the horrid experiences of his past to embrace his future.

“Finding Fish: A Memoir” and “Antwone Fisher” both illustrate beautifully the true tale of surviving through some of the most difficult circumstances.

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