A Message to the Community: A Letter from Prison

By RW

I offer my condolences to the families who have lost loved ones
And became victims to the violence

I offer my apologies for having been derelict in my duty and responsibility as a man
In not being the guardian, educator, and leader my communities needed
In order to be vital and life-affirming

I want to inform you that it is my goal to counteract the insanity of the destructive mindset
And I do not embrace those who prey upon any people
But particularly, my people

I want my voice to be heard:
Let the violence, drug dealing, physical, and spiritual abuse of the communities stop

As a man, I want it to be known that I have come to value and recognize
That the children need and deserve a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop,
Be educated, have access to equal opportunities to excel,
And become who the Creator intended them to be

I ask that everyone reading or hearing this looks at a child
Whether at home, school, at play, in church, or mosque, and consider these words:

I am the African child

The whole world awaits my coming, all the earth watches with interest
To see what I shall become
Civilization hangs in the balance; for what I am, the world of tomorrow will be

I am the African child

You have brought me into this, about which I know nothing
You hold in your hand my destiny
You determine whether I shall succeed or fail
Give me, I beg you, a world where I can walk tall and proud
Train me, as is your duty unto me
To love myself, and my people
And to build and maintain a great nation
It is I who proclaim

I am the African child

The whole world awaits my coming, I shall not delay it
For I too have a dream

Beef

By DJ

Beef

I had plenty of it while growing up
And ate so much one time I ended up throwing up
I’ve lost family members to it because I wouldn’t budge
Not realizing a hamburger shouldn’t hold a grudge

The definition of this word is not fit for our task
Even though we use it to hide behind our masks
To understand my view of beef you would have to be a contrarian
Because I would pray for all of my friends to be vegetarian

Finally, sometimes this meat consumes us all
I can hear anyone else’s story and understand their fall
I control my thoughts and actions now that I understand
And beef when it is rancid will no longer dictate my plans

Future and Past

By TB

See you soon, old friend
When we grow to become men
We are family, my brother
That’ll never change
Goodbye, old me
We are better now
We shall grow
We are stars
No one can change that

To My Youths

By CL

Don’t let my action be your consequences
Don’t let my lie be your truth
Don’t let my ways be your path 
Don’t let my likes be your loves

Don’t let my past be your future 
Don’t let my knowledge stop your knowledge from growing
Let my past be your ambition to do better
Because at the end of the day your choices
Will be the outcome of your future which
Is the youths after you

Peace!

Please educate Allah’s children everyday

Platforms

By JK

Platforms and I’m not talking about the shoes,
I’m writing about the people speaking who don’t have a clue

Platforms that were built on my L4 and L5,
giving me chronic back pain from all the verbal jive

Let’s expand on this privilege, the subject at hand,
this platform of yours where you make your grandstand

So absorbed in your spot that you place others in the dark,
never even a thought to appreciate their written art

What is an effort if not the effort to simply write,
judgmental of creativity where comes your insight

In the sixteen-hundreds, the rave was the selling of slaves,
all carried out on high from the platforms that was raised

A jumble of words is all that we saw,
yet 3/5ths of a man was written constitutional law

Words are intentions behind inventions
so next time you’re on that platform…

before I was
and after I am…