How Mike Gauyo Took Control of His Narrative and Wrote His Own Story
Mike Gauyo and his family immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts from Port Au Prince, Haiti when he was only four years old. Like most parents that came to the US for more opportunities, they had grand visions of him pursuing one of the proverbial “big three professions”: doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Instead, he ended up becoming a writer.
And a decorated one, to say the least…
After meeting Issa Rae, who gave him his first paid writing gig on her scripted podcast, Fruit, Mike went on to work on TNT’s hit show, Claws, as a writers’ assistant and later got his first staff writer job on a new Netflix series called Ginny & Georgia.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike to learn more about his journey and how it led him to start his mentorship program Black Boy Writes.
What was your experience like growing up after immigrating from Haiti, and did you find others with that shared experience while growing up in Boston?
After immigrating from Haiti, my family set roots in Boston… and upon arriving what quickly became clear to me were the cultural differences. Oddly, the differences between my family and Caucasians didn’t shock me; with them, I expected a cultural barrier. But it was the differences between Haitians and African Americans that surprised me the most. One of my earliest memories after moving to the states was trying to speak Haitian creole to the other black kids in the neighborhood or black kids at school and feeling confused that they didn’t know what I was saying [lol]. In retrospect, it was the first time I realized that black people are not all created the same, that we were not monolithic. And as a writer, knowing that has really helped shape the way I tell stories. I feel like many of our lived experiences as black people or Haitian people, or any other immigrant black person can be similar, but for the most part, are varied.
With that said, yes, there were many other families like mine in Boston. Behind Miami and New York, Boston is the third most populated city when it comes to Haitians.
When were you inspired to start writing?
I started writing at a young age, but it was just a hobby. Any Haitian person you ask will…