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This is the first article that I have ever written.

Hello, my name is Alex E. Taylor. I am an inmate at San Quentin State Prison in Northern California.

The COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice have affected my way of life. I am housed in a part of San Quentin that has not been affected by COVID-19. I have not seen many of my friends, who are also inmates, since the last week of March because this place has been put on a modified program. This has been a hard blow for me also having to deal with seeing so many minorities mistreated on television. It has hurt my heart and soul. I have a term to serve of five years at 80 percent, which means I should get out in 2022. I wish I could get out today and march with my brothers and sisters in the Black Lives Matter cause as well as protest for LGBTQ rights. 

The pandemic has been a real eye-opener. It has made me cherish the two hours of yard we get here in San Quentin. I think we, as a nation, needed to have these protests. The police in many states have treated people of color wrong. Cruel and senseless acts of brutality. I have been referred to as a nigger by the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department officers many times. It is deeply hurtful and traumatizing. I can sum up the crazy six month as an eye-opener for the soul and I hope this nation can move on to find a cure for both COVID-19 and racism. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Alex Edward Taylor is a Black trans female writer from Los Angeles who is incarcerated in California.