Codeblack Films’ Quincy C. Newell pens inspirational book
‘Insights: If Boys Never Learn, Men Won’t Know’ geared toward young African
Colette Greenstein | 9/28/2017, 6 a.m.
A 25-year veteran of the entertainment business, Quincy C. Newell is the executive vice president and general manager of Codeblack Films, a film production and distribution company based in southern California. He’s also a film and documentary producer, a social activist, a surfer, a recreational triathlete. Most recently, he can add author to his list of accomplishments.
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Quincy C. Newell’s “Insights: If Boys Never Learn, Men Won’t Know” is available in paperback and Kindle at www.amazon.com/In...
Newell’s book, “Insights: If Boys Never Learn, Men Won’t Know,” covers the lessons the author learned growing up without a father and how he has used those lessons as a guide to becoming a man.
Newell’s reason for writing the book goes deep. “My core intention is a responsibility to serve as a role model for other young men that look like me,” Newell said by phone from Los Angeles. “I didn’t have many growing up, so I wanted to make sure that I made a concerted effort to play that role if I could in any way.”
A husband and father to four children — two biological and two through marriage — he began writing the book two years ago because he wanted to make sure his biological son Taja would have a document to remember him by. “I have some insight into things that helped me, and things that can help him, that I want to pass along — and to my stepson as well,” said Newell.
When he began writing the book, Newell was 48. “It was a time of life where reflection came about and forced me to think about what I wanted my legacy to be, in respect to my family in particular,” he said. “I wanted to put something positive out to the world.”
Newell never had a chance to know his biological father. He was born in New Orleans, and when he was 4, he and his mother moved to Europe with his stepfather, a professional basketball player for the European basketball league. They lived in Europe for three years, and it was living abroad that expanded Newell’s worldview.
“There were interracial relationships there already. One of the players had a white wife, and I was friends with their son, who was a mixed kid,” recalled Newell. The family lived in Strasbourg, France and also in Amsterdam. “We traveled around Europe, and Germany and all that kind of stuff. I’m sure there was racism there, but for me, no one called me nigger when I was there. That didn’t exist for me.” Newell said he interacted with people of all colors, but “predominantly white folks, or European folks.”
His experience of living in Europe at a young age would alter Newell’s perspective on the world around him. “It didn’t feel like when I was living here [in the U.S.]. It felt very different. It removed fear — that hesitancy, that uncomfortableness, that barrier between me and ... people that didn’t look like me.”
As a result, Newell said, “I was not afraid to walk up to somebody and say something or to speak my mind or to question anything, regardless of what you looked like,” when he returned home to New Orleans at age 7. “Being from the South, being from New Orleans, especially in that period, black folks wouldn’t talk to white folks. It was very racist.” But to this day, he doesn’t have an inferiority complex regarding race.
This new perspective has served him well as he’s navigated through life, coupled with teachings from his mom, such as “to never restrict yourself, to never put yourself in a box; that you can do anything and be anything that you want.”
Just 78 pages long, “Insights: If Boys Never Learn, Men Won’t Know,” offers many key life lessons that are relatable to anyone, but the book is written specifically for young African American men. Newell offers four pillars or “guideposts” — honor, integrity, loyalty and courage — that have helped him in focusing on his purpose as a man while bolstering his confidence.
Newell said the book is his “humble contribution” to the young African American men of today, who may be facing some of the situations that he faced growing up. “I just don’t want our young men to be terrified — because they’re kings, and they just don’t know it yet,” he said. “It takes other men to say it, and I chose just to say it. If that’s helpful, I’d like them to walk away with some hope.”