Robert Desmond McNeil Jr. was born to Robert Sr. and Eileen Mutch. He grew up in Floridaâ€™s capital, Tallahassee, below the poverty line. As a youth, Robert’s childhood within the black belt of Leon county was the epitome of struggle. Most days were spent playing in the streets, sufficing for the reality of his broken world. While he admits that there were pleasant times, but for the bulk adversity ruled. It hung out on every corner he visited.
His single-parent home operated with structure until finances became a grave issue. Having the lack of altered the security of shelter. Robert and his family became homeless and slept from house to house, and public parks, until they found themselves lodging inside of a homeless shelter. When his mother landed back on her feet, Tallahassee youth took to the life of crime to assist around the house. Of course, his mother didnâ€™t approve, but nor could she object the help. Soon thereafter Robert landed in the arms of the juvenile delinquent system. He repeated this process until adulthood, where he did a ten-year stretch.
In doing so, Robert was able to restore his once singed conscience. The process of reconstruction exposed him to a love greater than anything upon earth. Coming into the knowledge of self, awarded him an education no one can discredit, and within that, he discovered self-identity, self- charity, and sufficiency. Robert taught himself how to channel his fears, anger, and doubts through writing, which led him to compose several books.
Once released from the belly of the beast, Robert says he kept his mind focused on what was beneficial. With great perseverance and determination, he’s become a published author, an owner of something he created while in tribulation. Robert now inspires the environment he was once a product of.
Fancy: How would you describe your swagger? What makes Robert, Robert?
Robert: My swagger is mental stability, reflecting self-love, loyalty, and respect. What makes me Robert is the responsibility of being a father. It reveals how unconditional I am, my vulnerability, flaws, and growth.
Fancy: What do you enjoy most about being an author?
Robert: The joy of being an author is the process of manifestation.
Fancy: So it appears that you began writing while incarcerated, but what led you to take the steps to put your thoughts to pen and paper?
Robert: One day while incarcerated I watched a number of birds fly in and out the very place I was confined in. Trumped by the fact that I couldnâ€™t replicate their soar, my mind roamed with the wind, wishing I had a pair of wings. A cadence of words started to flow and it made feel great. I immediately jotted the words my mind computed, formulating my first poem called “BIRD”.
Fancy: How did you go about publishing your first book?
Robert: I was scrolling on Amazon and an ad for self-publishing appeared.
Fancy: Please tell us about your upcoming release, â€œSAGE GEMINIâ€.
Robert: “SAGE GEMINI: MY INNER REFLECTION” is a follow up to my first collection of poems. Itâ€™s where Iâ€™m making my mark in the world of literature. Iâ€™m revealing my thoughts on love, black culture, conversations of inner darkness, and empowerment.
Fancy: What tips for success or words of encouragement would you share with other young Black men who have endured the prison system?
Robert: My tip for success is to conquer the unconquered, which is self, because once you understand the importance of self-control, you can compass your own journey.
Fancy: How do you practice self-care?
Robert: I practice self-care through fasting, meditation, and exercising.
Fancy: Whatâ€™s one life lesson youâ€™d like to share with young black men that you wish someone had shared with you?
Robert: I recommend all BLACK MEN to learn their African history as kings and rulers. Itâ€™s where identity lies.
Fancy: Aside from your book release, Do you have any upcoming events or projects that you care to share?
Robert: On July 15, 2020, Iâ€™m releasing my third title “FILTHY LUCRE”.
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