The raw truth based off my observations and experiences.
I am days away from being a part of an historical event: The Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March (August 19, 2017). I am less than a month shy of beating the statistical odds of recidivism. I will be representing the 32.2 % that didn’t go back to prison after their first 3 years home. This will never get mention because an ex-felon success it’s not sensational enough for nightly news. It will show a different image of Black and Brown men, which doesn’t support their get tough on crime rhetoric and pro-Legalized Slavery Agenda. Power players and national thieves must keep the voting public scared to death for they can be alright with the billions being spent to militarize the police and fund private prisons.
I am still climbing out the hole from almost 2 decades in prison. A comeback from having nothing material and building my name in the free world.
I am in a world driven by network and resources. Building my network only requires meeting people with like interested and having mutual understanding. Developing and acquiring resources take time, especially when you are taking the legally route. Striving to manage with money I use to blow on weed, liquor, and food in one day or some nights on a dice roll (1-2-3).
I am up for the challenge and relishing the increments of my climb. Seeing my own growth and recognizing the challenges that come with it. Knowing the opportunities that did not happen was because of my criminal past and being alright with that. Knowing when I look some people in the eye and understanding that glimmer of fear is their burden to carry and not mines. I am not here to convince them that I am not the man I was yesterday. If I was we would have never cross paths.
My aspiration far exceeds my current funds. I keep focus on the slow grind. I keep a mental image where I was 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 years ago with no opportunity or hope. And my current situation brings a smile to my face. I can sip on Kenya coffee, listen to Pandora, and work on my next book. I can take long walks and see something different and interesting each time. I can go to anyone of NYC museums. I can buy lamb and rice off the Halal cart. I can jump on mass transit and go see family and friends. I can get a travel pass (a parole requirement) and travel to other states and enjoy myself.
I don’t sweat the little things because I survived the place where sane men go insane. I don’t compare myself to another man’s accomplishment; I root for his success. I don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘who I could have been’ if I never went to prison. I enjoy the moments I have now. I enjoy the smile when it appears on my face. I enjoy the positive exchange of words I have with young brothers that called me ‘OG’ because they can’t remember my name but know my character. I enjoy being a socio/politico-cultural aware Blackman that is undeniably in short supply in today’s America.
I have a vision of myself and I am walking in the path shined by my own light. Life only grants permission to those willing to live it.
Travel in harmony!