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A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie

And Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life

An inspirational book with a practical component, A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie offers Antwone Fisher's lessons for leading an exemplary life that fathers should teach their sons.

Growing up in a foster home in Cleveland, Antwone Fisher always admired the appearance of his minister foster father's crisp, impeccable style and manner. It wasn't until he arrived as a recruit in the Navy years later that he realized that this well-dressed man had never taken the time to teach Antwone himself even the bare necessities. As he tried again and again to tie the Navy's required half-Windsor knot, Antwone had trouble concentrating on the tie while thinking angrily, “A boy ought to know how to tie a tie.” Since that day, he has faced many similar moments, encountering seemingly small but incredibly frustrating obstacles in his daily life that could have been avoided. A father figure could have taken a few moments to teach him the basic skills necessary to be well-groomed, stylish, presentable, and an adequate reflection on the outside of the man he was becoming on the inside.

A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie is a unique hybrid of practicality and personal. He shares stories from his own boyhood and adolescence, relating the hurdles he encountered throughout his journey into adulthood, a transition hampered by basic skills he never learned growing up. Fisher not only teaches the basics of personal style and hygiene, he shows how honesty, courtesy, and education are key components for self-improvement, and above all, imparts the importance of developing one’s spirituality and giving back to one’s community.

Now a highly accomplished, self-made man, Fisher was once forced to learn all these same lessons the hard way: trial and error, perseverance, and sheer determination. As a result, he has dedicated himself to teaching future generations of boys how to be men—in turn, becoming the strong and compassionate father figure he had always dreamed of having.

Photograph courtesy of the author

Antwone Fisher is an award-winning producer, screenwriter, children’s rights advocate, and the author of a self-help book, A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie; a collection of poetry, Who Will Cry for the Little Boy?; and his bestselling memoir, Finding Fish, which was later adapted into the 2002 film Antwone Fisher, directed by and starring Denzel Washington. Learn more at AntwoneFisher.net.