🏆 2021 BIBA® Non-Fiction: Inspirational/Motivational Winner!
Curtis Carmichael is an award-winning STEM educator, Team Canada Duathlete, and the founder of Ride for Promise. He was three-quarters of the way through his cross-Canada charity bike ride when the realization struck him: he wanted to help the teens coming up in the hood now… but first, he needed to help himself.
Butterflies in the Trenches is the candid story of Curtis’ life in the public housing projects in Scarborough, Ontario, where he grew up surrounded by trap houses, attending underfunded schools, and avoiding drive-by shootings. He shares raw and intimate stories from his childhood as a drug dealer and hustler and explores the effects of poverty, systemic racism, and police brutality on Black and low-income communities.
Curtis writes vividly and with powerful honesty about life in the hood, mental health challenges, and the education he received from the dealers, rappers, hood philosophers, inmates, self-taught entrepreneurs, and OGs who shared the street corner with him. The eye-opening stories in Butterflies in the Trenches are both an education for teens ready to become self-sufficient and support their communities, and an incredible story of a young man who breaks the cycle of poverty. Illustrated with more than 100 photographs and brought to life with an augmented reality mobile app, Butterflies in the Trenches is an inspiring testimony to the resilience, willpower, and purpose of a young Black man with a deep love for a community that refuses to give up.