Former drug dealer and gang member Robert Boyd is promoting his second book “Never Hit a Woman.”
Boyd, who lives in Maricopa and Cincinnati, is the author of “The Streets Don’t Love You Back,” which tells of his experience as a drug dealer in Detroit starting at age 10 and how he turned his life around after nearly 20 years of dealing and gang activity. The book was published in 2009.
With his wife, Lucinda, Boyd leads a motivational program, whose mission not only is to educate young people about the dangers of gangs, drugs and violence, but also give hope to incarcerated men and women who want to change their lives.
In November, Boyd gave a presentation to students at Maricopa High School.
“Students loved the presentation and were very involved,” said Aaron Frana, MHS health and physical education teacher. “Boyd answered questions for about 20 minutes and had some gift give aways.”
Frana said he heard about the “The Streets Don’t Love You Back” program after he met Lucinda and started talking with her.
“I checked it out online and it was something I thought our kids would be interested in,” he said.
Frana said the issues facing Maricopa students are gangs, violence, drugs and bullying.
He said as a teacher he would recommend Boyd’s presentation to other schools.
“Our goal at MHS is try to get Mr. Boyd into our freshmen health class each semester,” he said.
Links to the Boyd’s radio and television programs, along with the dates and places of his public speaking engagements, are available at www.thestreetsdontloveyouback.ning.com.
Boyd moved to Arizona three years ago to marry Lucinda, who grew up in Arizona. She edits his books and does media relations and publicity for the program.
Along with drugs, violence was a part of his life from an early age, Boyd said.
“When I was 9 years old I watched my grandfather murder my stepfather in front of me and my mother,” he said. “By age 10, I was involved in drugs and violence until I was almost 30. I am 48 years old now.”
It was not so much the violence from his past, though, that inspired him to write “Never Hit a Woman.” It was something he saw on TV after he moved to Arizona.
“I had seen that in the streets (violence against women), but what prompted me to write the book is when I saw on the news a lady in a courtroom telling a judge she feared for her life, that her estranged husband was trying to kill her and her child,” he said.
Days later, Boyd said he saw a TV report in which the husband did kill the wife and child, then turned the gun on himself.
“Domestic violence awareness should not just be in October, but all year round because it goes on every second of the day,” he said.
Boyd said he has received letters and emails from women throughout the country thanking him for writing a book about domestic violence from a man’s point of view. “The response has been phenomenal with everyone reaching out to us.”
He said his newsletters are mailed to inmates in 50 different state and federal prisons.
A female inmate from a California state prison wrote Boyd in November thanking him for the information he had sent her about his cause. “I appreciate that you’ve included the powerful message, ‘Never Hit a Woman!’ It so needs to be said by a man. Thank you,” she wrote.
Another one of Boyd’s inmate letter writers is former NBA player Jayson Williams, who in 2010 pleaded guilty to assault in the shooting death of a limousine driver. He currently is serving a six-year prison sentence in New Jersey.
Boyd’s father, a minister who had published 66 books, died in March at age 77, and Williams sympathized with Boyd’s loss. He wrote Boyd saying his own father died two months before he was sent to prison. “So sorry to hear about the Rev. your Daddy. Rob, he’s now in a true Mansion.”
Boyd said that while problems youth in Maricopa face may not be as serious and those faced by young people in big cities like Detroit or Phoenix, he is still concerned.
“What concerns me here is how a lot of kids want to do something with their life but the parents are not at home or strung out on drugs,” he said. “I want to be eye-opener to kids no matter where they come from — the hood, the suburbs. I thank God for the opportunity to make a change in this community.”