"Listen to a Man’s Soul Before You Judge Him"
I am an incarcerated African American Author who is also a father, friend, son, teacher, good listener and family man. These are a few of the titles those who love me have described me as being. But such is life; there are two sides to everything both positive and negative. I’m quite sure there are those who may not like or care for me very much, may have a list of names or titles they would like to call me.
However, to judge a person without knowing them or what they’ve been through is a very wrong thing to do. I myself have grown a lot through these past sixteen and a half years of being incarcerated. I’ve traveled and have met people of many different walks of life.
I was born in a small town in Pennsylvania, to a beautiful, wonderful, loving wonderful mother, and a handsome Vietnam (POW) Veteran. Although we didn’t have much in way of finances, that never stopped my mother from working hard in pursuit of her college degree, and from becoming the woman that she is today. She continues to show me what life can be regardless of your situation. My father was a soldier in the USA Army. He honorably served his country as a Military Vietnam Veteran, for six years during the Vietnam War. He was a recipient of a Purple Heart and other medals. But the pain and nightmares of Vietnam will never go away for some. My father is a very strong man. He survived six long years of that war, and three years as a Prisoner Of War (POW). I say this because regardless of my connection with my father now, when I was young we formed a bond that will never be broken and I am proud to be his son. We have a bond based on understanding and not judging.
I say all of this to say that as being a “Black” incarcerated man in America, that I have a different perspective. I was no angel nor was I a demon. I was just a young man growing up in a world who needed strong guidance. I was a manly child, a born leader, and young men with these characteristics are not throwaway, they just need proper male guidance. The true nature of a man will take over and materialize when faced with adversity. The cloth that a man is cut from will be on display. Some may buy it and some may not. But the heart, wisdom and strength of a man can never be hidden for these are the very essence of what a man’s soul is.
I’ve done things in life that I am very proud of, and some things not so much. But everyday it is my goal to give back to life just as much as I have learned from it; by turning negative situations into positive changes going forward. A man must find his purpose in life. I am so glad that I found mine. Regardless of my incarceration, I still try to contribute in a positive way to society. Being a Writer is a blessing from Yah, and I thank Him every day.