Tavackus Dawson is an author, motivational speaker, music and poetry writer who advises us all to tap into our greatness and share our gifts with the world. He shares how writing and publishing his first work The Hurt/Help Book was in God’s plan even though he never aspired to be an author.
By LaMar Anderson | February 04, 2021 | 6:00am
Please tell us your name and a little bit about what you’re offering today.
My name is Tavackus Dawson, and I am the author of The Hurt/Help Book.
Can you tell us about what we can expect to discover from The Hurt/Help Book?
One of the biggest characters in there that most people don’t realize that do more harm than anything is the “enabler”. So when I actually created the book, I told my family – aye, I got granny in there. They said – what you mean you got granny? I said the “enabler”, and they were like, wow! She’s enabled a lot of us not in a bad way but not in a helpful way either, so I think people will be able to relate to the character in the book. We have the hurt you can talk about and the help to overcome that irrational way of thinking. I like to call the hurt part the virus, and you have the antidote, which is the help.
You can talk about what you’re going thru in the company of yourself. A lot of people don’t like counseling and therapy because they feel like they’re being judged when they’re in front of somebody else. The book is an outlet. You can write down whatever you’re going through and can actually challenge yourself on how to overcome it. It puts you in a setting where your super comfortable and open up whenever you want. It’s not a rush.
A lot of times, when you’re at the counseling-therapy session, they’re pressuring you to have a breakthrough on their time. No, everybody wakes up on their own time. So that’s what The Hurt/Help Book allows you to do, to go at your own pace.
Would you say this is a new way to engage in therapy?
Absolutely, that’s the cool part about the book. There’s no book on the market that’s like this. I wrote the book specifically and structured it that way because I knew it wasn’t anything out there for people of color, especially. I just wanted to provide a tool that can really help us overcome generational curses, whether personal choice or something we just never knew about, you know. You can actually see what your triggers are, and the book will help you overcome them.
Where are you from originally, or grow up if not in Los Angeles?
I grew up in Monroe, Louisiana. I actually moved to Los Angeles two months shy of my eighteenth birthday in July of 1995. Man, I love it here. I always tell people I get to wake up every day and relive my dream over and over and over.
So LA is home for you? Is there still a connection to Louisiana?
LA, right now, is home, but I go home [Louisiana] twice a year, you know, I have my mom, sisters, brother, grandma and aunties uncles out there, cousins, so I do get homesick every four to five months. It’s a must that I go to Louisiana. I haven’t written it [Louisiana] off at all. People always ask me will I ever move back home. I say I got a least another 30 years in LA because I am 43, so yeah, right now I say it’s home.
Why Leimert Park? What brings you out here, and what does it mean to you?
What brings me out here? I grew up in the Crenshaw district. I ran with the neighborhood a two or three-minute drive from here, the Jungles, Baldwin Village, so I grew up over there since I’ve been here. I actually live in Ladera Heights right now, so Leimert Park has always been a part of me. I always liked the culture. You know, coming from the south to where it was predominantly Blacks and whites. I moved here, and every culture is here [Los Angeles], but Leimert Park gives me that feeling of the south. I am forever coming over here. I am a big advocate for Skid Row and homeless people, coming to Leimert Park feeding the homeless weekly and monthly. It [Leimert Park] just gives us the opportunity to showcase what we do bring to the table. Like I say – iron sharpens iron-So if you’re trying to sharpen a community, aye, Leimert Park is the hub right here. If you got something to offer the culture, come to Leimert Park.
How long have you been a writer, and is The Hurt/Help Book your first book?
Yes, this is my first published work. I write music and poetry, and I’ve been doing that since I was a kid as an outlet. Never in a million years did I aspire to be an author and always give credit to the most high God. I always tell people I am the co-author of the book, and they’re like, well, who’s the other author, and I say it’s the most high because I didn’t see this in my life and my plans coming up. I always give credit where the credit is due.
Can you share some insight for aspiring authors who are writing and interested in self-publishing and the journey from idea to physical work [book] in this day and age?
I would say this – whatever your dream is, go after it. A lot of times, what keeps us from moving forward is the unknown. I want to leave this with them because I’m an inspirational and motivational speaker; a speaking coach told me -if somebody is calling you to do something; apparently, you have a message they feel needs to be heard. I like what Les Brown said -the richest place in the world is the graveyard. He said that’s where people took their dreams and inspiration. The work they never published, a clothing line that they never started, a restaurant they never opened, and knowing they’re a fire chef. I would say don’t be scared. Tap into your greatness. We all have a gift that needs to be shared with the world.
How can we connect with Tavackus Dawson and support The Hurt/Help Book and the work that you do?
You can find me on Facebook @TavackusDawson and Instagram @thehurthelpgroup. The way you can support me – tell people about The Hurt/Help Book, tell them about The Hurt/Help group. It’s a much-needed resource. Once you see the book, you’ll understand why the most high had me create the book. I want people to understand I never aspired to write the book. So for the book to exist, I know it’s something that is much needed and really helps our people. Catch me on Clubhouse. My username is “the solution”. I always like to say you’re either a part of the problem or a part of the solution.
What can we expect from Tavackus Dawson this year or further in the future?
Plain and simple, making The Hurt/Help Book a household name. You got Comet in your house, Lysol, haha, you got toilet tissue in your house, haha. I want everybody to have The Hurt/Help Book in their house.
What are the top three books you recommend for everyone to read, The Hurt/Help Book being number one, what are the next two?
Right now, I am reading Get Out of Your Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, that’s a super cool book. Another book I like the most I’ve read, and it actually gave me my way of being business savvy. Magic Johnson has a book, 32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business. When he was in the NBA, he asked a lot of people to do business with him, and all the NBA guys turned him down. Saying -Magic, you don’t know anything about business, one guy stood up to the plate, which was AC Green. Magic said those same guys that turned him down now call for consulting. He said he’s not malicious or turns them down. Now, he charges them a fee for it. If you’re into business, that’s a good book to have.
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