Category Archives: Pieces of the Week

Growth

by JuJu

It is your duty to free your mind. If your mind is not free, you’ll never win. Not mentally. Your mind will be locked in chains. The love and support of others may help but truly only you can free yourself. It takes time, practice, and learning. But if you keep a positive mindset you’ll get through it.

You must understand that everything you’re going through is temporary. It’s all a test but only you decide if you pass or fail. This chapter in your life is called growth, and it’s up to you whether you reach a hard word and quit the book, or overcome that obstacle and move to the next chapter.

As Assata Shakur said, “It is out duty to ght for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Nightmares

by Trapped

I wonder what they’re all about? You know. Those nightmares, man. I had one last night. I was trapped in a cage. I was a wolf with blue eyes. I had blood on my fur, scars on my skin, those scars of guilt in my heart. On my heart. I wish it would all stop. I ask God to come into my heart. I say: “Please, God, will you help my mom and my heart? I can’t take it anymore.”

I walk around with a smile while deep down I want to cry. I want these nightmares to end. Until then, I will be in my room trying to ght my wars. I’ve managed to stay away from the killers – you know, drugs, weed, cancer sticks – but I’m trapped, clawing at the door, barking, “Help me, please.”

I Control My Own Destiny

by Tomi

From the day I got out of my Mom’s womb to the day they bury me six feet under, I’m in control of my destiny. I believe no matter what circumstances we lie in or how bad we got it, our life is de ned by our decisions.

My decision making in the past got me where I’m at now but I won’t let my past dictate my future. I control my own destiny, so with that being said, I declare myself accountable for the steps I’ll take to get there. I see myself being “the man” when I age to my thirties. My de nition of being “the man” is being nancially free with the mentality of being broke.

I plan on attending school and staying in school long enough to learn everything I can about owning and running businesses. I know becoming an entrepreneur isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but what’ growing without challenges? Besides my career, I de nitely need support in order to stay in school and keep my goals in mind. read more

My Last Hugs

by Rh

Remembering my last hug
before I got locked up makes me upset.
I hugged my little brother and told him I love him. Turned around and told my sister the same thing. She hugged me tight and called me her sweetheart, before I walked out the door
not knowing what was waiting for me.
My house was surrounded before it was raided,

I turned back to see my sister crying,
panicking not knowing what’s happening to her baby brother. I got locked up right in front of her.

Child of the Ghetto

by Lil Bane

Forgiving is hard, especially forgiving ourselves. I’ve always been the type of person to hold grudges and make silent moves, but when it comes to forgiving myself I just can’t do it.

I feel like the reason people believe in God is the idea that God can help them forgive themselves, but God has abandoned me.

So many choices from my past are coming back to haunt me every night. It’s like I’m living in a horror movie. I can never forgive myself for the things I’ve done since a young age. The streets swallowed me and turned me into something or someone I’ll never be able to forgive.

I wish I could forgive myself and be at peace with myself, but that’ll never happen the way I am living. Maybe one day I’ll stop carrying heat and selling dope, I just hope that won’tv be my last day. Until then I guess I’m just a child of the ghetto. read more

The Pain of My Life

by Makiah

Life has many pains; emotional pains, physical pains, etc. You can’t really measure pain but we all endure it. Everyone thinks his or her life is so hard and so bad when in reality someone always has it worse.

I think emotional pain is the worst because emotions are so complicated. Sadness can lead to anger, and anger can lead to physical pain—not only to yourself but to others also. Everything connects and pain, happiness, and anger seems like the glue to keep someone from falling apart, or it could be what makes someone break down, depending on the perspective. I mean you might like to be happy or maybe you like to be sad or angry, because that is who you are. If you don’t actually want to be happy, you won’t ever be able to actually be happy. Yeah, pain can keep you down, but you have to ip your perspective to a positive mentality. You cannot let what happened in the past dictate your future, no matter how right it seem. read more

Love

by Jazmyn

One thing I’ve always wanted from my parents but never gotten is something a lot of my peers take for granted, their love. Most kids grow up getting hugs and hearing their parents say, “I love you”. Even if their situation wasn’t perfect they could always fall back on that. But for me it was different.

I can’t remember a single time in my life that my parents did either of those things. More often than not I felt the hard blow of my father’s hand, or heard the screams of my mother telling me to die already. Even to this day the one thing I’ve wanted but never gotten was my parents’ love. Yet I can’t say that it hasn’t made me stronger. Not being loved by anyone only taught me the value of my own love, how much I love myself and how protective I am of those I love. Not being loved has taught me how powerful love really is. read more

Why I Write

by Isaiah

Why I write is because I have to,
because that the only thing that brings me peace.
Why I write, because it brings me joy,
happiness and a passion to just keep writing.
Why I write, because people say I am a very quiet person,
but very lethal with my writing and what I write about.
Why I write, because I’m motivated by my parents
and they love to see all my writings.
Why I write, because it’s very fun writing on a blank piece of paper, and it reminds me of the friends I couldn’t talk about my problems to. Why I write, because I can write anything
and never be judged by this piece of paper, never.
Why I write, because through this pencil,
it produces a sound to me with a symphony of possibilities. Why I write, because of this unit,
and all the times I’ve been in jail,
and just to relieve the stress that all of this comes with.
Why I write, because in my mind I’m a free man,
but it’s my body that’s locked up.
Why I write, so I can prove to my teachers
who told me I couldn’t write.
Why I write, because this pencil and paper
have become my truest friends ever.
Why I write, because I can write down all the mistakes I’ve done, so I won’t do it again and come back to juvenile hall
and graduate to jail or prison.
Why I write, because it put a smile on my face,
knowing I lled this paper with my feelings, thoughts and what I have to say. read more

If They Only Understood

by Sas-Shay

Just when I thought my life was going to be easy! It only seems to get harder. I am just really over being in here. They think this would teach us a lesson but they don’t understand that this is a very traumatizing situation for our young minds. I understand that some of us don’t act young, or stay in a child’s place. At the same time people need to understand the life we live and the fears, struggle, and pain we go through and overcome every day by ourselves. There is nobody by our sides. They should understand and think about what we go through because it’s not easy. If they were in my shoes they would really get a great understanding about my life.

If we could just switch shoes for a day they would bow down to me and beg me to switch shoes back.

Me being them, would just say no so that they could be locked up all day like a caged animal. They would eat when I say eat and sleep when I say sleep. I wouldn’t switch lives totally; I would just switch for two weeks to give them a taste of their own medicine. That way they can feel the pain I feel every day I am in here. Then I wonder how would they act toward us? Would they still try and give us juvenile’s life? Would they still want to put us in 23-hour lockdown facilities? Would they still let us wash up in cold water with a sock that was on somebody you don’t even know the day before? Would they still have us eat food that we are not happy about? Would they still let us get an OC warning and then all our points taken away? Maybe then the staff wouldn’t be so petty. read more

Real Advice

by Davante

Having your freedom taken away is not a very happy feeling. In fact, you live with a feeling of hate at yourself and others if you feel they put you in here, but you are the one that had your freedom taken away. It’s not nice waking up early in the morning to sit up and see four brick walls and a bright or dim light and having no privacy whatsoever.

This is not a place of happiness. This is a place of hate and sadness. These walls do close in on you and everyday someone tells you when to get up when to take a shower, and when to go to bed. Please do not come to a place like this. Keep your freedom. Freedom. Freedom!