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{a picture of my ex from behind bars}

The picture you see above was all I had to hold on to. The man that I use to love spent 8 years in a State Penitentiary, serving time for trying to get rich the easy way. He wouldn’t agree that the route he chose was the easy way, because day in and day out he risked his life for the dollar bill. He fought tooth and nail for every dollar that he made, did a lot of things that he wasn’t proud of, so he definitely wouldn’t say it was the easy way.

But here’s why I think it was the easy route. While he was in jail, I had to work two jobs on top of being a freelance writer, to take care of me and our daughter. With him, I enjoyed the finer things in life, taking the easy route, but that came with a hefty price…always looking over my shoulders, sleeping with weapons under my bed. But I didn’t care about any of that because I was blind and dumb. Eventually I went to college, grew up, and moved on.

It’s easy to take the route already laid out for you (ie hustling drug-dealing, gang-banging, violence), but it’s very difficult to chose to go on a different path and make different choices in the midst of your surroundings. To break cycles and to rise above takes a different mindset that is self-developed and constructed. And the reward of placing yourself in a different dimension is greater than you can imagine because it benefits the entire world.

In lieu of the Derrion Albert case, not only is he gone for good, but so are the young black teens that murdered him So that’s five African-American men who could have grown to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, husbands, fathers. But instead, their lives will be wasted behind bars. Mothers are left without sons, and women without husbands.

Did you know that in Illinois (state where Derrion was murdered), 60% of all inmates in their 22 Correctional Institutions are black males. According to a 2006 study by The Consortium for School Research at the University of Chicago, only 3% Black male students who attended Chicago public schools were projected to receive a Bachelors Degree by age 25 and, according to a 2008 study by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, only 37% of Black males who attended Chicago public high schools graduated in 2006. Compared to Illinois 22 colleges and universities, where the average is 3% black male students. (read study HERE)

With these statistics, who are young African-American women going to marry?
Who is going to father children in the African-American community? Who is going
to help the African-American community compete against the world?

So this is a plea to all of my brothas…We need you. We need your swag, your strength, and your guidance. Fathers, teach your sons to love themselves, and sons please DON’T GO TO JAIL!!

{back when I was a gangsta! boo! ..You couldn't tell me nuthin'!!}
Posted on 5:22 PM by Lisa Ford and filed under , , | 1 Comments »


ZODCORE said... @ October 10, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Awesome to the MAX Lisa Ford, very well written as always.

Ya got me thinking of my old day's when I was doing things I was'nt proud of. I had the mindset to change my life and was blessed to meet important people (like U Lisa Ford)to help me exel and strecth my skills.

I hear your plea and I love you for it. PEACE