DEEP DARK BLUE:
A Memoir of Survival
I want to be in the Air Force someday. These are the words Polo Tate engraved on her junior dog tags at age eleven. It was an unpopular dream for most young girls, but her hard work paid off and at age eighteen, Polo started basic training at the United States Air Force Academy. She does everything right, from academics to athletics. But no one prepared her for what came next: physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of her superiors. Harassment from peers who refused to believe her story. Deep Dark Blue is more than a memoir about sexual assault. It’s about breaking boundaries. It’s about setting boundaries. It’s about learning to trust your instincts. It’s a story of survival, resilience, and finally, finding your joy. Polo Tate is an actor and performer at places such as the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Broadway Comedy Club, Reckless, and the PIT. Deep Dark Blue is her debut memoir. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles.Click Here to View Pricing Options!
Casey Wilson, Actress,
(SNL, Gone Girl, Marry Me, Happy Endings and more)
"Polo Tate's story is one that MUST be told and heard. The writing is as unflinching and powerful as the author herself...and the world is waiting."
Alicia Silverstone, Actress,
(Clueless, Batman & Robin, Suburgatory, Gods Behaving Badly, etc...) New York Times Best-Selling Author, Activist
"My family loves Polo. She is so many things wrapped up into one person; professional, hard working, beautiful, sweet, thoughtful and heartfelt in everything she does. She is powerful, amazing and strong, yet still a soft, lovely and artistic free-spirit, despite having survived such violent abuse."
Selma Blair, Actress
(Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde, Hell Boy, Anger Management and more)
How to Soothe Stress & Anxiety:
Life, right? Wowza. In this compilation of articles and insights inspired by the duties and dingleberries of everyday life, Tate has extracted and expanded upon a handpicked selection of musings from her weekly #WisdomWednesday Whimsies series that offer instant tips and practical tools on HOW TO SOOTHE STRESS & ANXIETY.Click Here to Purchase!
More buzz about DEEP DARK BLUE
Actor and performer Tate had dreamed of attending the United States Air Force Academy since she was 11. At 18, the popular student athlete got her wish and started her career in the military. Tate was mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of cadet life, but she wasn’t prepared for the violence and sexual assaults she endured, first from a female teammate, mentor, and someone she considered a friend. Her second betrayal comes at the hands of a male upperclassman who was trying to keep Tate quiet concerning the previous incidents. Written in a brash and often jarring vernacular (“GET YOUR BASIC ASSES OUT INTO THE HALLWAY NOOOW, PEOPLE!”), Tate does not hold back from recalling in excruciating detail the assaults and the systematic destruction of her psyche. While her candid and conversational writing style does not always allow for subtlety, her memoir—part cautionary tale and part survival story—finds strength through its raw emotional honesty and brave revelations about the different manifestations of abuse. Ages 17–up. (May)
— Publisher’s Weekly
Polo Tate’s dream was to be in the Air Force. Accepted at eighteen into the United States Air Force Academy and recruited to be a part of the USAFA volleyball team, Tate worked hard and excelled. Basic training was rough, but she always put in the effort to be the best. Tip, the senior volleyball team captain, seemed to take Tate under her wing; it was not until it was too late that Tate realized the special attention was predatory. Tate is sexually assaulted by Tip and, in an effort to scare her into keeping quiet, she is raped by a male senior. Tate’s life quietly spins out of control. She loses friends, is put on academic probation, cannot keep food down, until she finally tells someone about what Tip did to her. Tate is granted medical leave and is able to return as a second-year cadet, but the trauma of what happened rears its head. Eventually, she realizes the Air Force may not be the place for her and ultimately learns that no one can take her joy.
In Deep Dark Blue, Tate’s writing flows smoothly, and she uses flashbacks effectively throughout her story to build background. She describes two rape scenes in detail, as well as the physical and mental abuse that she suffered at the hands of those who were supposed to be her community, her second family. The trauma Tate suffered is palpable. Other military memoirs address the issue of sexual assault, but few show as well as Tate’s that rape is not about sex; it is about power. Mature young adult readers will find Deep Dark Blue a gripping memoir of survival, resilience, and growth.
— VOYA (Voices of Youth Advocates) Publication
Even from a young age, Polo Tate loved sports and imagined serving in the military. Her first day of basic training at the United States Air Force Academy, where she was also recruited to play for the women’s volleyball team, was the beginning of a dream come true. In her debut memoir, Tate tells how this dream quickly shattered when the women’s volleyball captain, an upperclassman who outranked her, psychologically manipulated and eventually sexually assaulted her. Like many survivors, Tate blamed herself and did not tell anyone. As she describes in detail how her experiences with “Her Horrible Her” begin to impact her physically, emotionally, and academically, she also exposes an eye-opening campus culture in which cadets are expected to be tough, classmates turn a blind eye to those in need, and cruelty runs amok. She delivers more shocking interactions with upperclassmen who warn her to keep her mouth shut with increasing violence that culminates in rape by “Him Horrible Him.” The resulting trauma and downward spiral are stunning and palpable. Although readers may not see the justice Tate deserves, in the end, they do see a young woman who learns to heal and move on. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, this gripping memoir reveals the pervasive effects of abuse of power and the ability to overcome it.