Excerpt from San Francisco Bayview Newspaper November 27, 2002. Written by Guess Who.
Our Readers Write
We are the abolitionists
What can we do … as family members, loved ones and friends of incarcerated men? We need to bring the images and the voices of our brothers from behind the walls. How do we accomplish this? We talk about them.
How do we create contact between Babylon - or the other side of the wall – and the brothers? We have opportunities, freedom and movement that are not available to the incarcerated population, so it’s our duty to lead in this endeavor; we must bridge this gap.
This is modern day slavery, so we can view ourselves as the abolitionists and they are the slaves. These brothers are men and have a right to interject as well as be intimately involved with the ideas and concepts being entertained to assist them. We need a dialogue with the prisoners; there are profound lessons that can be learned from an in-depth association with the men behind walls.
A connection needs to be made. These brothers write profound manuscripts, draw heart-stopping pictures - the list of positive attributes and characteristics is quite extensive.
Our families cannot be whole, because the main component is missing. The male role is essential to the success of our families. Ponder this: extreme can be essential to change, but when the extreme is the acceptable norm, then we have a problem.
We are participating in allowing this perpetual cycle to continue. It is our obligation and responsibility to make this act of imprisonment associated with the conditions such as Security Housing Units visible.
We are writers, singers and movie producers, and yet the movies addressing our Prison Industrial Complexes are still waiting. With the percentage of our black men being warehoused, we owe it to them to save them.
We must make it our priority to remove the negative stigma associated with having a loved one in prison; there is no shame in a family member being incarcerated. We have learned how to forget our brothers. Let’s remember them today. Write a letter, share a visit.
Never Forget, Never Again, Never Alone, P.O. Box 1687, Crescent City CA 95531, firstname.lastname@example.org.