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Photo by Andrew “Donovan” Valdivia on Unsplash

31-year-old Black male. Trapped in a prison cell.
Refusing to submit, while I’m constantly
battling the guards for something my mama purchased.
Trying to have patience.
But I’m always overlooked.
I know it’s because my skin tone is not White as his looks.
Why be nice and respectful to a bunch of people who don’t deserve it?

Passing me up for over a month.
Getting angry as I watch the other convicts enjoy what they’ve brought.
“I hate being at “CMC” in their Ad-Seg.
I can’t take this no more.”
I yell at the top of my lungs.

July 2020 I snapped
decided to cell extract
“I will never be submissive and allow the guards
to treat me like this.”
No room for error as all five cops ran in.

Damn, George Floyd
I’m sorry for what has happened.
Couldn’t see much, as my adrenaline pumped and pumped.
Blood dripped from my eye,
but what could I expect in a situation like this?

Held high in the air and slammed to the ground,
never knowing that my body can actually twist like this.
“Stop bangin’ my head!”
“Stop resisting!”
“I’m not resisting,” as the cell felt like 90 degrees
I yell, “I can’t breathe!”
“Take your hands off my neck,” multiple knees
banged me around,
is this really worth it?
All I wanted was my books that my mother purchased.
Why should I submit and be submissive?
When my Black ass gets beat and wrote up,
choked and slammed.

True story, if you don’t believe it I got the RVR to prove it.
I am George Floyd. But my mother named me
Cedrick Johnson.
And as I sit all banged up,
I laugh at myself and say,
“Yeah. It was worth it. Especially when you love your mother.”

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.

Cedrick “CJ” Johnson is a writer incarcerated in California.