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

Color Blind

By LC

Love burns in my heart
for all
Strong, like the sun at high noon
But you see it not
Nor do you see the ambition
the hope, the genius
You don’t see it
Because all you see is a color

Crayons

By JG

I am the color of electricity
Seldom seen, but innately powerful
I am the color of stagnated dreams
Suspended in time, unfulfilled
I am the color of true transformation
The color of self determination
Whatever color self pity is
I’m the opposite
I am the color of jewels
Like that diamond in the rough
I am the color of grace
Moving calmly and unafraid
I am the color of strength
Standing firmly on my square
The color of respect, courage, honor
When affronted by lesser individuals
I am the color of hope
The color of Martin Luther King’s dream
The color of Malcolm X’s resolve
The color of Noble Drew Ali’s fight
I am all colors
I am as colorless as the air we breath
I am the color of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
I am the color Peace

Change (Till I Can Show My Momma)

By KC

They say change is easy but I disagree
Judge acts like I’m the first
Though it’s been millions of brothas before me
I believe change is harder for some
Cuz not all these dudes come from the slums
Noodles change to lobster
KoolAid turn to wine
Yeah it sounds fine
Worries the size of dimes
I swear I wish I could
But I realize the truth
I’ma keep trying
Till I can show my momma
That I changed

Color Blind

By DA

Not holding a grudge because of your ancestry

No mad because I may have to work extra hard to not get a felony.

Don’t allow the derogatory words to have an impact on my view,

the way I see things and the functions I get into.

I greet you in peace,

Even if you dislike me.

That’s strength in its own

Also my reality

that’s painted in the poem!