Where I'm From

Prison Writes students reading at BronxConnect on August 16th was an inspiration to all in attendance. Thank you to everyone at BronxConnect for your dedication to keeping our youth out of prison, particularly Tara Brown-Arnell, Ariany Polo and Tyza Perdomo, who went over the top to make this event sensational. (Check out that cake!) Thanks to our special guests Rafael Carrera, who is working to interrupt the prison industrial complex with JustLeadershipUSA, thanks to Justin Corney who shared a preview of his memoir about his overcoming not just prison, but what brought him there. Thank you to Ibrahim Siddiq and Kahlil Koromantee for your support and guidance in these workshops. Thank you

Message to a Young Nigger

Message to a young NIGGER 16, 16, 17, 17, 4 building. Everyone in here fighting to prove themselves. 16, 16, 17,….bout to be 18 in 3 days. Birth-day, day no more young boy jail. No more babysitting, ‘bye’ to the 4 building. P. C. ….step, step, step, cling, cling, cling, the sound of my shackles, walking down the hall, fresh meat lil’ bitch, ugly nigga, everyone with a different comment, trying to put fear in your heart. I close my eyes and remember the words of a real big homie, MOM….”I love you. Keep our head up.” Step, Step, Step, ‘Nigga!’ ‘Nigga!’ ‘Eyyyyy yo Nigga’, the word ‘Nigg’a spread around Jumping from mouth to mouth like the blunts we all wish we had in here. Negros, Morenos, usi

Women Writing at Rikers

When Jessica emailed me about attending a Women’s Group at Rikers who were going to read their work, I thought it would be good for me to hear their voices. We met at the F train station and rode out to 21st St in Queens, then on to a Limited Q100 bus that took us across the East River causeway to Rikers Island. I had had the foresight to remove jewelry and metal objects, to carry the bare necessities - ID, phone, metro card - but I need not have been so concerned. As attendees at the Advanced Writing Workshop presentation, we were practically honored guests and the security, while thorough, was swift and painless. With an invisible “club” stamp on the back of our left palms, we went on in.

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Prison Writes is a division of the NYWW

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