‘From The Pit to the Palace:’ Bahamian National Hero Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt Releases New Memoir

Pristine seashores, turquoise waters, and conch salads aren’t the one treasures within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Along with the nation’s magnificence and meals, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Cynthia Pratt—a girl who overcame great odds to turn out to be one of the influential girls within the Caribbean— is one other prized jewel within the nation.

Affectionately often called “Mom Pratt,” she is finest often called the primary girl to function Deputy Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas—a place equal to the workplace held by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. She was additionally the primary girl to function the Minister of Nationwide Safety for the nation and the primary girl to be elected Deputy Chief for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). Moreover, she served as appearing prime minister in 2005 when Prime Minister Perry Christie suffered a stroke.

The Rt. Hon. Dr. Cynthia ‘Mom’ Pratt speaks to reporters within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (Picture credit score: Black Ladies in Media)

Mom Pratt reluctantly began her political profession in 1996 with the assist of her late husband after Prime Minister Linden Oscar nudged her to run for workplace beneath the PLP platform. On the time, she was working as a part-time lecturer and the assistant director of pupil actions on the Faculty of The Bahamas and had little interest in politics.

“The previous prime minister got here to my home, and he requested me to contemplate getting into politics. Right now, I’m somewhat no person by way of politics. And so, the reply was ‘no,’” she advised BLACK ENTERPRISE.

She argued that she wasn’t certified for the place resulting from her working-class upbringing, however PM Oscar refused to take no for a solution, reasoning that her background made her the right candidate.

“I mentioned, ‘Can’t you see I’m from a poor household?’ And I went on to speak about all of the negatives,” she recalled. “He mentioned to me, ‘That’s why we’d like you.’”

Ultimately, Mom Pratt started what become a 10-year profession in politics from 2002 till she retired in 2012. After a 17-year absence, she reentered the political area in November when she was appointed Deputy to the Governor-Normal, proving that at 76 years outdated, her work as a group chief was not achieved.

From the Pit to the Palace
The Rt. Hon. Dr. Cynthia ‘Mom’ Pratt within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (Picture Credit score: Black Ladies in Media)

Earlier than working in authorities, Mom Pratt labored as an educator, registered nurse, and sports activities coach. She can also be an ordained minister and philanthropist who’s obtained numerous honors and accolades, together with the Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award in 2018 for her long-standing dedication to group constructing. Nevertheless, out of all her achievements, she says her best accomplishment is “coming from humble beginnings when all people says you possibly can by no means make it. Coming from a household of 16 youngsters, I’m the 13th baby. [My] mom was illiterate, father was illiterate, dwelling amongst roaches and rats, realizing that I’m in a position to overcome these obstacles and maintain my head excessive, and proceed to press on.”

Earlier this 12 months, Mom Pratt revealed From the Pit to the Palace: The Autobiography of Cynthia Mom Pratt, detailing her journey from excessive poverty to distinguished dignitary and nationwide hero. The e-book, which is currently available for pre-order, discusses her struggles rising up in an inner-city neighborhood known as Coconut Grove in Nassau, Bahamas. She says she hopes her memoir will encourage others, particularly younger girls who have been compelled to drop out of highschool like she was as a result of their mother and father couldn’t afford the charges.

Bahamas Prime Minister“Many of the girls, once they flip 14 years outdated, they drop out of college. Now, [they have] no ability, no training. What’s left for them to do?” mentioned Pratt, who additionally left college at 14. She later obtained a bachelor’s diploma from Saint Augustine’s College, an HBCU in Raleigh, North Carolina, at 34.

“There’s no person right here to succeed in out to say ‘sure, you can also make it’ and attempt to assist them. That’s the place I are available,” she mentioned. “If I don’t get entangled, who will?” She continued, “After I thought that no person noticed my world and what was taking place with me, all I needed was a chance that I wasn’t given as a result of I used to be from a poor household.”

Regardless of her success, Mom Pratt nonetheless resides in Coconut Grove, which remains to be thought of the shady aspect of Nassau. Relatively, she chooses to reside closest to the those that want hope and inspiration essentially the most.

“There have been no voices within the space to characterize the folks. I noticed myself as a voice crying out within the wilderness for these folks. And since I knew that deep down inside I used to be a light-weight; I didn’t turn out to be discouraged simply.”

Mother Pratt Bahamas
Dr. Cynthia ‘Mom’ Pratt at The Mission Baptist Church in Nassau, Bahamas (Picture Credit score: Black Ladies in Media)

Mom Pratt additionally goals to focus on funding alternatives in her homeland.

“The Bahamas is made up of a sequence of [700] islands and keys,” she advised BE. “There are such a lot of benefits, notably for buyers,” she mentioned, noting that the nation gives incentives for second homeownership.

However greater than the rest, Mom Pratt hopes that her journey will encourage a brand new technology of inner-city youth to succeed in their highest potential.

“I’m saying to those that have been rejected that regardless of the rejection, there’s hope, however it should be inside you,” she mentioned. “What’s in you isn’t the place you reside.” She added, “I’m all the time about attempting to uplift. I don’t care what stage you might be. I don’t care how deep you might be within the pit. I consider that I could make a distinction,” mentioned Mom Pratt.

“I would like the lots who’re down there at present to know there’s a girl who has overcome. She made it from the pit to the palace.”

From the Pit to the Palace is out there on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. It will also be present in Bahamas-based bookstores.


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