I don't address the issue of race much, because I fear I will be labled as a racist. Anyone who knows me knows all my adopted family is white and most of my friends are too. This isn't by choice totally. There aren't many blacks in Collinsville that I know of. I can't say I care to be very close to the ones I do know because most of them are a lot like the person I was before I went to prison.
I guess I'm writing this to explore what it feels like to be a black ex-con in a place where blacks aren't expected to be as good as others. I hadn't given any of this much thought except when it has applied to my personal endeavors. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time in St. Louis. For the first time since my release, I've encountered black business people. It is also the first time I've encountered so many attractive productive and confident black women.
It's a shame I can get culture shock amongst my own people!
I'm proud to be black, but I'm not proud of the conditions my people are subjected to. A lot must change if we are to learn to better ourselves. We must change the trends that lead to black men making up 38% of Americas prison population while blacks are only 12% of the nation's populace. In fact, a decade ago we made up more than 15% of the population. Our numbers will continue to decline as long as all our men are going to prison for extremely long sentences (proportionately longer than those given to other races), and killing each other over petty diferrences ingrained in us by propoganda that gets shoved down our thoats through the media and entertainment industries. Who will father the children?
I'm just pissed because we give them the right to continue to call us niggers!
Supaman Tion Terrell