Photo by Trevor Cole via Unsplash
Photo by Trevor Cole via Unsplash

Another child died today, another mother cried today, another silence said today, “We don’t want to hear what you say.”

Why must we be so quick to raise a hand yet set blame on the same game of intense pain or misplaced disgrace when upon the errors of others we erased the values our elders once set in place?

While in our communities we lost the ability to keep our own children safe from our own hate. Why do we debate who is right or wrong and hold long strong attitudes, giving false platitudes to prison bars, street hood scars and accounting for the mounting baba mamas garnered along the way like some made up, taped up badge of honor. Dishonoring everything that brings life we’ve fought for that was once bought more, and crying more when caught for an infraction against our own kind, behind some blind rage you were too young to know about, too distracted to learn about, having no idea what was fought about. When in school we are not taught truth about.

Wanting to live your own life irrespective of a dignity for the past that lasts in a greater vein of pain your today may ever know. And you call me a fool. Where is the pride that we should not hide of being Black in America? Because in spite of the terrors more, flesh scored, being Black shored as America’s dirty poor, we are a people who should want moree pure to make our penchant for the essential shore. That our children not fear an uncertain tomorrow, but gain courage and strength within our own kind, developing their own mind for their time they can be proud of forevermore.

Have we not learned from our past time that our love is greater and desires our children to be free? Continually flowing of growing peace and joy for who they are because of who we are as leaders and builders, strong providers. What is the picture we cast to them when we pass to them nothing but some flair of despair that creates self-hate in the wake of them seeking an identity they can live with and not fight against and embrace each other?

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Jeffrey Shockley

Jeffrey Shockley is an African American contributing writer incarcerated at State Correctional Institute Fayette in Pennsylvania. He has been serving a life sentence since 1999.