Messages from Behind Bars

East Point conducts weekly workshops in Kingian Nonviolence inside the San Bruno County Jails.  We are working with a group of 11 men, certifying them to become trainers in the philosophy, and we also conduct a regular workshop with a group of 48 men.  These are some of their words, poems, stories, and artworks.

By Anthony Johnson

By Anthony Johnson

“Do You Still Care?”
By Steven Henry Green
In the eyes, of violence I despise, the struggle of my cries.  Friends have died, leaders have lied, and my neighborhood deprived, filled by drugged lives, and hard times, seeming to forget what’s happening to our kind, is history about to rewind?

The revolution, is our solution, but what about the violence and the pollution, of delusion? Dr. Martin Luther King, he had a dream, we almost came together and build ourselves a team.

We had people such as . . . Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, Cesar Chavez, Princess Di, Huey Newton, Geronimo Pratt.  We let them down. We’ve turned our backs, now our youngsters ask, “Nonviolence what’s that?”

So in order to over-come, I had to drop my gun.  Pick up my book and look, it’s so much that has been taken. I’m talkin’ about Role Models.  Affirmative Action what’s happenin’? Let me tell you!  Fathers are getting locked up, our children are getting shot up, mothers are getting fed up.

Teenagers standing on the corners trying to come up, for a fast buck.  What the ____?  Okay I won’t cuss! But may I ask “What is it gonna take for us to come together and discuss?”

From the South to North and East to West our world is a mess, let’s all confess.  And place Restorative Justice in its place. . . . To many fell, our lives must move forward and excel.  Just the other day I called home, my seed picked up the phone.  I heard pain in his voice. I shouted “. . . What’s wrong?”  He said, “Dad, I live in a Drug Zone, war’s on, disrespect roams, rap songs, smoke some weed, popped some pills, drunk some Promethazene, and my values are like you dad. . . . they’re gone.”  So I apologized for my wrongs and asked “Son hold on” And he put a name on this poem . . . He cried and asked “Do You Still Care?”

Principle #4: Accept Suffering without retaliation for the sake of a cause to achieve a goal.

“Untitled” by Anthony Ross
#617007
PO Box 67
San Bruno, CA 94066

At times I felt like a swimming duck surrounded by a bunch of cars in the middle of a traffic jam.
Within my space I’m at peace, but many distractions blocks my serenity.
If I blame the outside chaos for my tranquility,
Does that mean I’m my own worse enemy?
Would Jordan win a championship if he trip over every penalty?
See in a sense I’m like Jordan, a player in the game of life.
Everyday is the superbowl, you’ll never get in twice
How do I live in the moment without carrying the past?
How do a diamond shine in a dumpster full of trash?

By Jayeu Duong

By Jayeu Duong

“Reflections on Principle 2: The Beloved Community is the Framework of the Future”
By Jose Antonio Pritchett
What that means to me starts with the Afrikan proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child.” It also means to me that we need to respect one another and to learn from each other, to especially learn from our elders. Coming together we create a safe community where we can co-exist with one another in peace.

By Eugene Singletary

By Eugene Singletary

“One Family”
By David Morales

Starting with Adam
We then became two,
Man and woman
Both of the same hue.
Multiplying in number

The human race sprung
Our bodies changing color
Adapting to the sun.
Throughout time
We divided our race,
Ignoring in our minds
We’re from the same place.

Accepting false labels
Created for division,
Making us unstable
Their ultimate mission.
Instead come fulfill the dream,
Of a world united,
One Family
No longer divided.

Anonymous Artist

Anonymous Artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony Johnson 2

By Anthony Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By anonymous artist in the San Francisco County Jails

By anonymous artist in the San Francisco County Jails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Anthony Johnson

By Anthony Johnson

 

Comments

  1. Ellen Yankee says

    Love this artwork and writing. Gentlemen, I admire you greatly. Undeserved suffering is everywhere, and we all share the responsibility; thank you for being courageous enough to work through, You inspire me, and I’m sure you are helping the rest of the world also.

  2. Maria says

    Awesome poems and art work. Art and poetry are considered therapeutic methods that help release those dismal crypts that have kept you captive from all the turmoil you experience inside. Keep up the good work men and “your great role modeling” will, help others as well. Love Mamacita

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