Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

What a summer season we have seen as the same closed-minded and divided America continued to fan that same pain of racial disdain while society watched another unarmed Black man be shot by non-policing police personnel.

But what to tell one another while ignoring the breaking news that described another young Black man killed, another young Black man and a one-month-old baby died from random gunshots? 

We face forward yet stand backward against ourselves blindly in the breeze that bleeds self-hatred, racism, and human bigotry; perpetual indignity that steals one’s self-respect.

Why must we so proudly, continuously fill our prisons instead of rebuilding our communities? Rejecting our duties to be that brother and father who protects the children we gave seed to, that even now our women left alone bleed through.

Hopelessness increasingly blowing through the mindset of some of us as if there was a nothingness about us in part because of us, our own actions as distractions creep deeply into the soul for lack of unity. For the change we speak of but doubt because we wait for others to fix problems our own kind should be solving, resolving to do better but get smothered by the lies we’ve fallen prey to and remain in the pain and disdain and adopt the same characteristics that divide us.

We attack the history that brought us through the beginning that tried to combine us whence others tried to define us or who we could be. What our ancestors fought for and died for us to be, that we have forgotten their love so true upon our own for who we are as a people. 

Now we ask, “What do I do?”

Let us hold each other up beyond the differences planted behind the mindset of division so that we can hold each other accountable and overcome the insurmountable so we can unite as we are meant to do; that has made us free if only we want to be. I love you because you love me because we are human.

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.

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Jeffrey Shockley

Jeffrey Shockley is a writer incarcerated in Pennsylvania.