Up ahead, in the constant stream of returning prisoners, I can see inmates producing their treats to a chorus of meows. I can see them in the night-time stadium lights, and I can see the inmates’ faces light up like children’s.
Where we stand on equal rights, freedom from gangs and racism shouldn’t even be a question. It should be as simple as “the sky is blue.”
My hope today is anchored in appreciation for all the small beauties in life, like hearing my dad’s and mom’s voices or seeing the moon light up the night sky while walking the track.
My crime defines me
And don’t try convince me that
There’s something good in everybody
Because when you take a closer look
This world is filled with evil people
Handcuffs come off and gunshots un-shot
Blood goes back into wounds
And tears roll up cheeks
One thing COVID-19 has taught us is that in the face of the unknown all we can do is our best. Period. It also reminds us of our humanity and how connected we are.
I watched from my cell, sad and sick with COVID-19, as you marched in the streets—and I marched with you, imagining what it would be like to be in your shoes.
As I lay there that night in my six-by-nine-foot prison cell, I came face to face with a lifer’s worst fear, any prisoner’s worst fear, and our families worst fear — the fear of dying alone in a prison cell.
As an adult, entering the segregated prison system was just another part of the incarceration process. In prison, race doesn’t define you, but it does dictate who you eat with and who you live with.
I know what it’s like to ache inside. I know what it’s like to want to die while fighting to live. I know what it’s like to be molested, to overeat, and hate your own body. I know what it’s like to cheat and be cheated on, to abandon and be abandoned, to break up and lose lovers, friends, and family.