Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"What Do I Want To Be When I Go To Jail"


Ok, now I know prison is like the one place where you have seemingly, all the time in the world to think about your life, but why do most of our people wait until THEN to hone in on their creative juices and find their purpose in life…and for some it’s just temporary.

I know too many men who’ve seen the inside of a prison cell and while there, they’ve discovered they can sing, rap, dance, cut-hair, cook, draw, write, mentor, speak and even run track (hey, why not). I know it’s all about using your time wisely and being productive, but again…for most, these new found talents and interest are time-passer, sold to family and friends as "new leaves." These hobbies are hardly ever seriously pursued post-prison…you ever see an Olympic-Track-Star-Ex-Con? Yeah, me neither, but anything’s possible. We've got ex gang leaders writing children’s books and serial killers turned preachers...you didn't see these "callings" while on the street? Ok!

Now, I'm not downing these brothers, I'm just saying...just making an observation. I was also having a conversation with a friend and we talked about prisoners being allowed to obtain degrees while serving their time. Free education as payment for your crimes...hum? Now the flip side to that is, it's pretty much an ego-booster, since society has not yet seen ex-cons fit to hold jobs requiring degrees, but there are too many people on the outside going through hell and hot water to pay for schooling when all they had to do was WRONG to make their lives RIGHT!

I KNOW all these extracurricular activities are to keep their minds off what's really going on, but at the same time...TIME has afforded them the luxury of pursuing and finding their purpose...hardly seems fair to people who've lived by the law. As ironic as it may seem, I'm actually attempting to institute a Prisoner Reform Program here in Philly (one of my MANY projects) but that's basically for those guys who are serious about getting their lives back when they've gotten it back and not pretend to be on another path because their locked down.

I remember seeing the homemade cards with drawings on them some maybe even just a painted hand decorated to look like a turkey for Thanksgiving (LOL...sorry)This really isn't funny...I just wish my brother's would see all this creativity, all this potential BEFORE they get locked up for life!

P.S - DON'T FORGET TO EMAIL ME AND SOJOURNER YOUR SITUATIONS FOR BE ADVISED ON - THEY'LL BE POSTED TOMORROW!!!

20 comments:

MzCoko said...

I don't know about anybody else.. but most (not all) of the black men in my family went to jail because they were on a paper chase. These talents and hobbies ain't putting food in your mouth or clothes on you, and your younger siblings backs. I know my cousins my age started getting into trouble because they were just trying to survive... My favorite cuz got his money up and tried to do real estate... but he was too far into that life and his past caught up with him.. now he is in jail.. That's just the way the cookie crumbles I guess

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

Olympic-Track-Star-Ex-Con..LOL You can't forget about the Body Builder. Come out of prison all swole.

On your previous post. #10 is Boyz N The Hood too. When they are about to eat and Doughboy says Ho's gotta eat too. Regina King's character says "who you calling a ho, I ain't no ho". Then Doughboy says "I'm sorry.... b^$ch". So technically I got #10 right! LOL

Ticia said...

Degrees in jail? Umm...how does that work?

I read an article, a lady wanted to go to jail to stop smoking--

DurtyMo said...

LOL!!! This post made me snicker. Why u may ask? Cuz I love watching LOCKUP it comes on MSNBC..and I watch it religiously. I am in awe of those men in prison and you're right. They get there and find out they dayum near geniuses. What a waste!

MzCoko said...

oh.. and i am freaking ecstatic i was first! lol

JustMeWriting said...

mzcoko: LOL... girl, I was rubbing my eyes, like..."is that mzcoko FIRST?" HAHAHA!

Girl, you're not alone...it's the same situation with the men in my family and now we've got all these newly-discovered talents complaining about how society won't give them a break and let them do this thing they just discovered they could do...HAHAHAH! (it's really not funny...it's sad)

s.g: LOL... yes the body builders crack me up. OOOOOHHH... You're so right...I remember that part. OK... you're on top of ya movie trivia...lol. (sheletha's met her match) LOL.

ticia: YES GIRL, it's done all the time. They go to school there.

durty: hahah...yes and that's the sad part, look how much time you've wasted doing foolishness.

Sojourner G said...

Yeah, it's amazing the things you can come up with when a majority of the distractions in life are removed. I think about what I would do if I didn't have to work for a living. I'd learn to play the piano and the bass, I'd learn two foreign languages, I'd get a PhD in SOMETHING! Of course I don't want to go to prison to accomplish those things. I'd rather win the lotto! LOL But even that won't happen because I don't play.

But if I'm distracted by my life, I can just imagine what it's like for some of these brothers who get caught up into their various crimes and livin' the life that goes with it. I'm not justifying it, nor giving crime short shrift. Wrong is wrong and most people in jail deserve to be there.

I'm just saying that when you've got time on your hands for whatever reason, it's amazing what you can do.


***Uh, bring back the bible trivia so I can win again. Err...what happened to my prize anyway!? [SMH]

Tasha said...

Great post! I've often thought about how much time inmates have to think about what they want to do and all the time they have to develop a new skill or hobby. In a way it's unfair that they get to explore so many avenues and ideas while behind bars and the rest of us often have to stifle or creativity or pass up the opportunity to learn to paint, dance, etc because we have to work. It's truly amazing what you can learn with no distractions.

At the same time, I wish the people who truly wanted to reform after doing time had the opportunity to do so and didn't have to be stigmatized to the fringes of society.

anonymousnupe said...

If I ended up in prison I'd be too dang skurred to learn anything. I don't know how they can concentrate on anything other than not gettin' shanked and preserving their you-know-what’s! Unless it's white-collar-crime-country-club prison, of course. Shoot, then I might come out with an MBA/JD combo joint up in there!

Nic said...

Free education as a reward for being a criminal! That pisses me off. I would love to be able to go back to school, and not worry about where the money is coming from.

Trenting said...

Well let me see,(we) taxpayers are paying for them to get a FREE education while they're being punished for breaking the law, I don't know about all that..

Ms. Behaving said...

Great post lady :-).

[You've always got a thought provoking topic going on over here.]

Sad situation it is but very true.

SIGH....Oh our brothas!!

Anointed1ne said...

Honestly, I would be more worried about surviving than getting a degree. You can gain a lot by getting an education in prison, but there is also a possibility of you losing a lot too. If you catch my drift.

Opinionated Diva said...

lmao@preserving their you-know-whats.

This is so not a funny topic, but I couldn't help but giggle at that comment.

I'm not sure what I think about this. I agree with you and definitely wanted to add something, but my brain is fried right now. I'll be back.

DJ Black Adam said...

Well, I guess it's just the Red "Tovarisch" in me, I say bring back the Gulags. Most people in jail (brothers or not) have done something to belong there, especially with violent offenders, I say 23 hour lock down, think about what you did in your cell looking at 4 walls.

As for non violent ones, many of those crimes shouldn't be crimes anyway, but as long as they are, BROTHERS NEED TO MAKE BETTER CHOICES and stop making TIRED excuses and blaming everyone else BUT themselves.

I'm sorry, but as a brother with a wife, 4 kids, and a mortgage taking care of things as best as I can WITHOUT resorting to crimes, I don't have much time for those who choose the life because they need to have a pair of Air Force ones like everyone else...

Tom_Gurl said...

My brother's been to jail more times than I can remember. Each time he's in there, he talks about when he comes out, he's getting a job, fixing up...all the usual crap....second he's out he's driving cars with no papers....I dunno-too hard headed!! When I tell you the boy has maaaad talent-he can draw his ass off...I remember he wanted to be a cartoonist!

Now he's a daddy, he's seeing that he really does need to fix up...admittedly though, he has been keeping his ass quiet lately...guess it's never too late...I'm just glad that he's realising certain things, you know like how he's not in prison....it's more believable now...

YAZMAR said...

well ronald isley is gonna get real use too jail life including drawing and coloring on envelopes to his wifey...lol

malieta said...

Great Post!
I read the comments and the majority said the very thing that I feel. Some were even funny...I am going to have to get here earlier in the day.

jameil1922 said...

i kind of hear you but why deny an education? if they don't do anything else in there, they should be reading. it pisses me off that they shut down libraries in prisons and stop them from reading the newspaper. wth? take away tvs if you really want to do something but books? that's outrageous.

JustMeWriting said...

jameil: oh, no doubt on the need for them to be educated, but my whole point with this post was WHY do most wait until their behind bars to want to do something with their lives...it's a sad waste of time.