Benefit Event Donation

2Pac Spoke The Real

by Francis, Year 1, Issue 1

2Pac was as real as a person could get! Like all of us, he had a good side and a dangerous side. He was a ghter in my eyes. The good side of 2Pac was that he always told the truth. The truth is so important because we who listen to his music have much respect for him. Even his gangster side spoke about the reality of my streets, the daily horrors of alcohol, drugs, women, killin’ and gangbangin’.

When I hear that 2Pac died, I got so sad. The thought of him being ambushed with his producer Suge Knight, was disturbing, but I still thought he was going to live! So when I heard that 2Pac died on Friday, I felt so sad. I get so sad just thinking abot his loss now. I know in life we are born, hopefully grow up and make something of ourselves, and then we die. We all die sooner or later. So for myself, I must make something of my future so I don’t nd myself six feet under or spending my life in the penitentiary.

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The Beat Within – Writing Workshop for Teens

Topics will be presented for teens to discuss and write about. The writing can then be submitted for possible publication in The Beat Within – a magazine of youth writing and art from the inside.

3:30-4:45PM  every 1st & 3rd Friday

FOOD!  (if you arrive at 3:30PM)

The latest issue of The Beat Within will be available for those who submit to the magazine!


Friday, September 16, 2016 – 3:30pm – 4:45pm Friday, October 7, 2016 – 3:30pm – 4:45pm Friday, October 21, 2016 – 3:30pm – 4:45pm Friday, November 4, 2016 – 3:30pm – 4:45pm Friday, November 18, 2016 – 3:30pm – 4:45pm


Eastmont Branch

7200 Bancroft, Ste 211 Eastmont Town Center

OaklandCA  94605

Phone: (510) 615-5726

Dear Diary

by Xiomara Gonzalez

A person doesn’t realize that no matter what it is that they’re going through, “this too shall pass.” I didn’t see things this way for a long time. That is, until one time at about three in the morning, I woke up to a noise I’ve never heard before. I listened and realized someone somewhere nearby was crying. This cry was that of a wounded animal. It sounded so sad, my heart sank and broke into a million little pieces. She didn’t know this, but for the whole time she cried, I sat there silently and just listened. Eventually she cried herself to sleep. I wanted to ask what was wrong, why was she up crying at that time. I realized the reason didn’t matter. She was suffering like me and like everyone else here.

The following night, it happened again. She didn’t realize it, but this time she wasn’t alone. Again, I sat there silently and listened to her cry. I tried to connect with her, tried to comprehend her pain. I wanted to hug her, comfort her, but I couldn’t. I guess being there was enough, and even though she never knew she wasn’t alone, I was proud to be there for someone. That night, while the rest of the world slept, our souls were together, and together we suffered. Like the night before, “it passed.”

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No Jails

by Young E

Freedom for all
Happy faces
Regardless of your race
No tears
Moms, Dads, Grams, Gramps, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins happy to have all family
In one place
A safe world
No drive by shootings
No gang violence
No guns
Just peace, love, understanding
And good conversation
To work out our differences.
No corruption.
Is it possible?
Where do we start?
In our homes
With our family?
In the schoolhouse
With our classmates?
On the block
With our neighbors and friends?
At the job
With our colleagues?
Or, on the bus
With strangers?
Sure all the above, but then again, it starts at home,
With the love and support
that is provided by our elders, our blood.
On the road to no jails is a long bumpy road
We need to destroy all guns.
We need to destroy all weapons.
We need to destroy this black and white world we live in.
We need to nd new solutions when one breaks the rules. How to do that, I do not know.
What do you do with haters?
What do you do with those who know it all?
What do you do about racism
Classism, poverty, elitism?
I wish I had the answer.
Will we ever gure out a life without jails?
Probably not, though it’s fun to dream and believe we
As a human race have the intelligence to succeed with a world without jails.
I promise myself, I’ll do my part.
I’ll teach my children through the love I give them daily,
As I play a part in their life and that for sure will make a big difference.

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The Beat Within / The Crime Report

Greetings friends,

This past weekend, The Crime Report, based in New York City, picked up, posted and featured our dear friend and colleague, Michael Webb’s piece, “The Little Boy Who Lost His Dream.” A wonderful piece of writing from a determined individual whose goal is to help others see a better way. This piece is also featured in this week’s issue of The Beat Within, 21.35/36.

Michael Webb is a juvenile lifer, who co-facilitates and participates
in The Beat Within’s monthly writing workshop inside San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, CA.
We cannot wait to share this news with Michael.

‘The Little Boy Who Lost His Dream’

We are truly grateful for the partnership we have with The Crime
Report. If you personally have visited this site more than a few
times, there is a chance you may now have lost your access and are
requested to pay to view. If that is the case, we have posted the
piece, “The Little Boy Who Lost His Dream,” below.

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The Little Boy Who Lost His Dream

by Michael Webb

Back in the early 1970’s I watched my favorite TV show Emergency. As a child I dreamed of becoming a fireman just like the firemen on Emergency. Every time the bell would ring and the big red shining engine fifty-one would leave the station on a run, I would imitate it with my firetruck. Also, I pictured myself going to rescue a stranded person or putting out a fire.

As I grew older the innocence I once had as a child became lost. That was when my neighborhood became heavenly infested with drug dealers and violent gang members. Living in the neighborhood became an everyday struggle just to survive. The drug dealers began to fight one another over who’s going to control the drugs. Then the rival gang members started to do drive-by shootings and innocent people got shot or murdered.

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Turning It Around

by Brandon

It is never too late to turn your life around. Through your whole life many opportunities will approach you to change your life around for the better but it will be up to you to want to change your life. No one can make you do anything but it is up to you to realize what’s best for yourself.

Personally, my plan is to graduate high school and then go to college for as long as it takes to become a nurse in the medical eld. Stanley Tookie Williams, a man who was incarcerated for several years on death row and faced numerous counts of racism from inmates and guards, strived to want to better his life, but also the lives of others. He made several youths want to do better, he was told

many times he would be nothing, but chose not to listen.
Every aspect of your struggle is to make you want to do better. You have to realize what you want to be in life because gang banging, smoking and robbing will only last so long before your life is thrown away in a trap called prison. It is never too late to want to do better but it is better to start early because days will feel like seconds.

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