My Voice – C. Jackson Bey

My voice is not often heard beyond the ears of these walls and many individuals of my past may think I speak the same language I once spoke. Which was the language of ignorance, the streets, a thug, hate, which was the voice of a boy mentally trapped. Now the voice you hear spoken is of a man who has been freed mentally & spiritually and sees life as a rare stone found in the middle of Egypt buried within the burning sands of an open desert. The voice you hear is of a man who has sought forgiveness from those I betrayed from my lack of respect at one hour for human life, my life, friends, family, and the community I resided in. As many have blessed me with the opportunity to make right for my wrongs, I ask Allah to touch the hearts of those I cannot reach at this moment and in due time that they will see & hear me for who I truly am. I have learned that in order to be a changed man one has to first realize that change is needed. Because if not we find ourselves stuck in the madness! We profess to have left behind and become the very definition of insanity doing the same thing expecting different results. I had to ask myself the one question many don’t take time to reflect upon within these walls. Which was: What do I live for? and as I contemplated to myself for many years! It finally hit me! I LIVE TO HELP THOSE IN NEED OF SAVING IN ORDER NOT TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I HAVE & TO UPLIFT FALLEN HUMANITY. Now I use my voice to bring forth the truth to the unenlightened minds that a person can change! But only if they think their condition can be better. I use my voice so you all can know people such as myself do exist within these walls and that one bad apple doesn’t ruin the whole bunch because you pick the one bad apple out & save the rest. I use my voice to change the narrative for the forgotten men & women behind these walls who deserve another shot in society to show we can be productive members to our community as well as mentors to trouble teens who’s following in the footsteps of destruction. I know many can care less to hear my voice due to my past and the crime I committed which is murder, but it is my voice telling you I’m not that person! I am a human being that made a bad choice that I will regret for the rest of my life. I cannot change the past but if I could rewind the hands of time, that person would still be alive! and this voice you would know nothing of. As I have become transformed into the man who has found his voice & purpose in life, I am now dedicated to healing those who have been harmed from crime through using Restorative Knowledge I have obtained. As a transformed man who once committed violence now as an ex-offender will work to prevent violence by promoting Restorative Justice Principles because I have valuable experience & first-hand knowledge in this field. Being a transformed man who has aged within these walls have made me become more knowledgeable and I will continue to demonstrate Restorative Justice Principles through community/victim outreach, education, and societal reintegration along with sharing my voice with you all about the important matters at hand. I pray you who are readers of this take into consideration the famous saying: Not To Judge A Book By Its Cover! Because You Never Know The Read. So I ask the same for me and the many men & women behind these walls! Because you never truly know who an individual is if you refuse to hear our voice and to know us for who we truly have become. Remember Hearing is Believing! and one must learn from others mistakes because we won’t live long enough to make them all ourselves. Peace & Blessings!!!

Feel free to contact me through: J-pay.com Charles A. Jackson Bey #600271 Or write to Thumbs Correctional Facility 3225 John Conley Dr. Lapeer,Michigan 48446

How Can We Make Black Friday REALLY BLACK?

How many of us Really know the History of Black Friday?

Nope, I won’t tell. Do the research and you’ll understand why I wrote this essay at this current time. At a time when the Holiday

Season is quickly approaching. A time when the government is issuing checks to stimulate a dying economy. A time when

Black Folk are the last hired and the first fired. And what about those Black Owned Businesses during the time of a Pandemic?

I’m just being for real.

During the Holiday Season more alcohol is sold than at any other time of the year. More money is spent on food, clothing, and

entertainment than any other time of the year. The spending begins on the Friday after “Thanksgiving” and reaches its crescendo

right around Christmas.

For those of us with an extra couple of dollars, that money is as good as gone, all to show our loved ones how much we care.

And for those of us who don’t have, we’ll use credit or even barrow the money and go into debt to please our loved ones and

assure that the Holiday THIS year is better than the one last year.

Sure, there are other ways to spend our money. There are smarter ways and more responsible ways to spend it. But it’s the

Holidays, and ever since the traditions of these Holidays were created, spending has been the Key activity in making the

Holidays into Glory Days, right?

Take Christmas for instance, isn’t that in some way based on Jesus? Wasn’t it the 3 Wise Men who went to Macy’s to buy gifts

for the Baby Jesus? And wasn’t its Jesus, when he was all grown up, who went to the merchants of his day and overturned the

carts in the temple fighting for those hard-to-find Black Friday Deals?

No?

What about those Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock, baring gifts from Kroger, Walmart, and Costco. After a nice dinner of

Honey Baked Ham with the Indians, the Pilgrims handed out blankets imported from Spain. Rumor is, those blankets were to

die for.

Did I miss again?

The point I’m trying to make is that even though the Holiday Traditions may be somewhat dubious, we are still going to spend

the money. Even though we may not agree with a particular Holiday, or the history of its conception, we can write our own

script and use it for our purposes.

And this is where Black Friday comes in. When you examine the nature of the tradition of Black Friday, some of our people

would say they don’t want to participate. But I would challenge us all to do the exact opposite, with a twist.

Let’s make THIS Black Friday REALLY BLACK. Not only should we spend every dime of the Stimulus money given to us by

the government, but we should make a commitment to limit that spending to Black Owned Businesses ONLY.

Just think about it, Black People make up 13% of the U.S. Population with a 1.1 Trillion Dollar Pre-Pandemic Spending Power.

This Christmas we will spend money on tobacco (including weed), alcohol, toys and games, the telephone, gambling, clothes,

food, books, and if we have a few dollars left over, Charity. But the real “Charity” would be in spending our Black Dollars on

Black Friday at our Black Businesses in each of the above-mentioned areas of commerce.

Imagine the jobs we would create for ourselves during this single season where the Government will actually facilitate our

spending. Think of the many of Black Owned and Operated Businesses on the verge of collapse due to the Pandemic. We can

actually give real meaning to the phrases “Thanksgiving”, “Black Friday” and “Happy Holidays”. Right now, we can turn this

Pandemic into an opportunity to get acquainted with the best of our own community.

THIS Black Friday, Let’s make Black Friday REALLY BLACK. Make all of your Holiday spending this year an opportunity for

Black Empowerment.

Broken Glass

I’m Shattered can u see my pain… Do u see the water leaking in? ‘Cause I can no longer keep out the rain… I’m Shattered in a million pieces, not broken… But one mistake and my whole existence could be open… To negativity and false-hearted intruders… Looking for what I got inside… thinking ‘cause I’m shattered that I’m weak and not a stable opponent… Capitalizing off my pain seeing the rain and not thinking how u can help…. but what u can gain… I’m fragile at the moment but sharp all the same…. I can cut deep… inflecting pain but what’s the use if I’m the one hurting… what a shame… I’m Shattered in many different places, cracked in all types of directions…. From being impacted by insults and careless ppl… Shattering me, Cracking me, Breaking me… more and more as days pass…. Don’t want to break but my glass is giving out fast…. Shattered glass, Shattered glass how long will u last.

Shukur B.

My Voice – D. Brasher

HAMJAMBO WATU WAZURI! (Swahili for hello my beautiful people) My name is Demetrius Brasher a.k.a. Muhammad The God. I am 49 yrs. young and quickly approaching 50. (11-23-70) I am the second oldest of six children, and the father of two girls, one being deceased. I have one grandson who is my pride and joy. I have been incarcerated for approximately 28 years come December (1 year in the county jail, 27 years in prison). There are 4 life altering events that I will discuss to give you an idea of who I was, who I am, and who I strive to be. When I was thirteen years young, my parents separated. My mom insisted that she needed me to step up since I was the man of the house now. I vowed that I would, but I never anticipated that this responsibility would change the trajectory of my life. With no father figure or positive role model, I was destined for trouble. This was my first life altering event. I began a life of crime that ultimately landed me in prison. I did everything from selling drugs to armed robberies. I used to tell my friends that if I ever went to prison, it would be for murder. Truthfully, I never wanted to kill anyone, I just thought it made me look tough. If I’d only known that I was speaking it into existence, I would’ve never formed those words to come out of my mouth. At the young age of 22, I was charged with 1st Degree Felony Murder (as an aider and abettor),and was sentenced to life in prison even though my codefendant (the shooter) was found not guilty. This was my second life altering event. In the year 2000, during a Black History Month celebration at St Louis Correctional Facility, a woman name Gayle was the guest speaker. After introducing herself and explaining what Black History meant to her, she asked this question. How far back can you’ll trace your history? I began to review my genealogy and could not go beyond my grandparents on either side. She said, I stand before you with African/Native American blood flowing through my veins, and I can trace my roots all the way back to the Native Americans standing on the seashore when Christopher Columbus arrived here in 1492. That was very profound to me. That sparked in me the desire to get to know myself, where I came from, and what my purpose is here on this planet. This was my third life altering event. In the year 2000, i was introduced to a book entitled, ‘As A Man Thinketh’, by James Allen. This book changed my life! My understanding of the power of thought became absolutely clear to me. We are what we think. Our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions and deeds. What we focus on grows. Our reality is manifested through our thinking. We truly do create our conditions. Therefore, we control our destiny’s. My mother named me Demetrius. The streets called me Nutty D. Now the world calls me Muhammad The God. Mpaka Halafu (Swahili for until next time). Respectfully Submitted by Demetrius Brasher A.K.A. Muhammad The God!

HAMJAMBO WATU WAZURI! (Swahili for hello my beautiful people) We just witnessed the most important election in U.S. history. What’s sad about it is the fact that it was more about removing Trump than electing Biden. The truth is, every election is important, but we tend to only focus on who we put in the white house (especially poor people). We must become more educated on how we vote on the state and local level, because that’s where the damage is being done at. There are many positions that are filled by people who don’t have the best interest of the communities they’ve sworn to serve. (District Attorney, Judges, Commissioner, Police Chief, Aldermen, State Representative, Senators, City Council. etc.) We shouldn’t concern ourselves with a political party unless we’re starting our own. We should be putting candidates of our own on the ballet to ensure that our issues are addressed. Politicians for years have procured our vote without fulfilling their promises to us. Politics have been politricks for Black, Brown, and poor Whites for far too long in America. They are more concerned with their party and their own agenda. When you turn on the news, all you hear is, the left, the right, the democrats, the republicans, the liberals, the conservatives, the red, the blue, the donkey, or the elephant. WHAT ABOUT AMERICANS? In my humble opinion, we must start putting ourselves first, and take control of our lives since the government is busy gang banging. Our communities have suffered because of it. We can’t keep depending on someone else to do for us what we can do for ourselves. We have the intelligence. We have the skills. We have the bodies (labor). We have the resources, and we have the finances. But the two things we lack as a whole are unity and organization. Most poor people never get to move out of their communities. Therefore, we must entertain the idea of rebuilding our neighborhoods one block at a time. We can do it! I’ll leave you’ll with this quote; ” DO FOR SELF OR SUFFER THE

CONSEQUENCES”. Respectfully Submitted by Demetrius Brasher A.K.A. Muhammad The God!

I WALK

By. Joseph Green

I’ve walked with no direction in sight,

I’ve walked this path all my life,

I walk this path that my ancestors have laid,

From brother Malcolm X to Sister Harriet Tubman.

From W.E.B Dubois to Angela Davis,

They walked this path generations before my time,

This path was created with the future youth in mind,

To be treated as an equal was all they ever wanted,

I walk on this path and I start to look around,

I see the blood and sweat of these men and women all on the ground,

I stop……and see nothing but death to my left,

I turn my head right and I see nothing but a culture on constant decline, So I focus my head straight looking for that bright future ahead,

Its far and I see many obstacles in my way,

I walk………….. and I walk……. How do I find the strength,

These pioneers of our culture had a purpose for creating this path,

They was fighting for freedom and equality of an entire race,

So this path I walk filled with clutter, thats caused by my own race,

Makes me upset because to those who died to lay this path,

is being shown the ultimate disgrace,

I walk…….and I walk……..while cleaning up the mess I helped to create,

I walk with the hope of making a difference,

I walk to show their hard work and blood was not in vain,

I walk with the purpose of creating a bright future for the generations to come,

I walk proud. because my skin shows my culture in physical form,

I walk this path to show we can be great,

I walk and I will continue to walk with my new purpose in sight,

I walk in the direction where my future will be bright,

I walk for my generation to make all things wrong, finally right……..

I walk…………

My Voice – I. Bowling

By: Isaac L. Bowling #292438 My name is Isaac Lawrence Bowling, I’m 20 years old. I have been incarcerated since I was 15 years old for Conspiracy to commit home invasion 1st degree and I am due to be released in 2028.

Growing up in a low-income household was tough, my mom and stepfather were heavy into drugs for a short time and money was very hard to come by. I felt that it was my job to try and make money and get food for the house even if it was just a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. Why I shouldered this burden is beyond me, I guess it’s just my nature to protect the ones I love. But this feeling started at a very young age. I was maybe only 9 years old, I used to stand up at admiral gas station on Ballenger Highway in Flint and pump people’s gas for a dollar, or sometimes I would cut grass or do miscellaneous yard work around the neighborhood for money. But as I grew up the feeling to make money for my family turned to self-greed and that instant gratification that as a young man I so craved for. I started to steal from the store which soon turned to breaking into cars which then turned to breaking into houses. During all that I never really knew too much about myself, and that may sound unusual but I never really paid attention, it was just get money by any means. But after being in prison for 4+ years and doing a lot of mental calibration I realized that I have a good and caring heart who always wants to help regardless of the benefits, and I realized I have a talent to learn things quickly and quite easily. When I was in school, I learned to play the Contra Bass and the Bass Clarinet and was pretty good at both. I got my GED in less than a week and I never even completed the 7th grade. I am currently studying Real Estate and Contracting through Stratford Career Institute and that’s also going great. All I want is to succeed in life and strive for greatness. I don’t want prison to be the definition of my life, just a bump in the road to greatness. Although prison has played a big role in me becoming the person I am today, I want to move past this part of my life and never look back. Some people may read this and feel that I’m using my past struggles as a young man as an excuse to break the law or be in this position, in fact that’s quite the contrary. The choices I made as a kid could and should have been avoided. I take full responsibility for my actions, and I hope that my story may inspire other kids going down the same path, to change their direction because there is much more to life than what they are experiencing. I will work harder and harder every day to make sure that my life story can become a source of hope or inspiration to others, that there is more to life than what may be portrayed through their environment.

Just go get it! Whatever you want you can get, if you plan for it and apply action to your goals! Prosper in life, because life is about living not surviving. Thank you for reading!

My Voice – S. Brown

My name is Shukur Brown #945408 I am 24yrs old currently serving a 20yr to 40 yr sentence for accidentally killing my bestfriend when I was 16yrs old.

I grew up poor, with hand-me-downs, no lights, no gas, no electricity, no food nor water, or having one and not the other. I can remember coming home from school and the lights are off and me flicking the switch to no avail or going to the refrigerator to get something to eat, but the fridge was empty then coming back 30 to 45 minutes later knowing its nothing in there but just hoping, just hoping that my mom or dad had brought something to eat. We were evicted and stayed with this family member and the next one. At one point we lived with my grandmother and there was 16 people in one house, but through it all I was still the light of the family, always smiling and trying to help. My family loved to be around me because I always had a good heart and kept everyone laughing but seeing other people with things that are a necessity like good clothes, food, water and lights struck something in me and made me angry at life, but ultimately at my parents. I asked why so many times. I didn’t understand how the family down the street was living better than us or why my aunt’s kids had all the nice clothes and were never hungry. So, at 13yrs old I told myself that I had to get money for not only me but my 3 siblings. I started selling drugs, smoking weed and hanging in the streets more with my cousin who is 5yrs older than me. I started making “good” money from selling drugs I was able to buy food and eat when I wanted. I was able to get them new shoes and clothes to go to school in and support my weed habit. I even helped out with a few bills. I still went to school and actually got good grades when I wasn’t kicked out for fighting or acting out. I had a bad temper that never received the right treatment. Then one day when I was 14yrs old I got robbed for my phone some money and my product. That hurt me to the core. How was I going eat? What was I to do? it was a turning point for me. After that I was in the fast lane. breaking and entering, robbing, stealing, shoot outs, you name it. I was doing any and everything to get money and wasn’t thinking twice. That was the immaturity in me not thinking about the consequences and the effect I was having on other people’s lives. It was a way of life for me. I was heading down the wrong path with no one pushing me down the righteous one. I could have been anything; a basketball player, football player and even a boxer. I enjoyed doing all of them, but I had all the wrong influences around me pushing me to do negatives instead of positives. I always looked at myself as a good person. I helped people out when I could, I always wanted to brighten people days, give them something to smile about and just be that shoulder to lean on.

Then at 16yrs old I accidentally shot and killed my best friend Gianni. I heard of people playing around with guns and accidentally shooting each other but I would have never thought that this would have happened to me in a million yrs. When this happened, it changed me. They locked me up, charging me with 2nd degree murder. How could this be? It was an accident; we were just playing. I cried for what seemed like a hundred nights, replaying the incident in my head; waking up in cold sweats with blood on my hands. I had his family asking me “Why?”, my family asking “Why?”, but I didn’t have an answer other then I didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident, we were playing. I went through a depression. I didn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t talk, I didn’t want to play basketball, I didn’t smile or laugh. I became antisocial. I wished I was dead and that he was here instead of me. On visits my mother seen it too. I could see her hurting because I was hurting. She saw that I wasn’t the same smiling, loving, talkative, humorous kid I once was. I was broken and traumatized. I blamed myself every day. I hated myself for being so stupid and reckless. Over the years I learned to cope with my pain and started writing poems, reading my bible, getting closer to God and slowly but surely, I started coming back into myself. I learned that I got to live for Gianni. not with him. I’m still sort of stand offish. sometimes i get in the mode where I want to just be alone with my thoughts, but I’m back to laughing, joking and playing around, making other people’s day.

I have a different outlook on life now. I realized that I can’t become who I’m supposed to be until I eliminate the person, I thought I was. I want to help instead of hurt. I don’t want my legacy to be that I was a thug, savage or hoodlum. I want people to remember me as the good hearted, ambitious, humorous, loving, helpful, respectful, family oriented and sincere guy that I am. who made mistakes but didn’t let his past define him. I don’t want to be a statistic and die in prison or make it out and come back. I’m more understanding of life now. I like to see the glass from both aspects: half full and half empty. Prison helped me to learn about myself; I know my buttons. I’m also a chess player. I think before I react or speak. I observe before I make a move, and more importantly I think for others. I’ve successfully received my G.E.D while incarcerated. I look forward to enrolling in college to obtain a degree in business/entrepreneurship; to one day own a construction business. I’ve recently just started my own T-Shirt line with a friend. I’m going to help the youth out by being a mentor and telling my story, so they won’t make the same mistakes I did. Thank you all for taking the time to learn a little bit about me.

My Voice- T. Davis

MDOC INMATE: Toby R. Davis MDOC #: 234179 AKA: Naeem Nusaga AGE: 45 LOCATION: Thumb Correctional Facility PASSION: Writer/ Poet/ Published Author ALL COMMENTS WELCOMED @: Jpay.com ——————————————————————

Today, the Michigan Department of Corrections house roughly 34,000 inmates in its warehouse facilities throughout the State of Michigan. For the majority of these convicted felons, they will one day return back to their respective community after paying their dues to society for the crime(s) to which they were convicted and sentenced to a term of years.

When I first entered into the prison system in 1995, quite noticeably were the various educational programs and vocational classes that were available to each individual prisoner, who had the fervent desire to use their time wisely by furthering their education and engaging themselves in some kind of trade that he could potentially utilize upon his release to be better equipped to thrive in the outside world. Fast forward to the year 2020, and now we’re talking about a whole different ball games without a free-throw line! The MDOC have since abolished most of these programs in the system that once were available and have more or less made it even harder for certain inmates, particularly the ones who are serving Life Sentences or Long Indeterminate Sentences. Unfortunately, the programs that’s available in the system today, one has to be at least within 6 to 7 years to their earliest release date, which means if you’re serving 20 years in prison, you’re prohibited from taking any college courses by mail, Builders Trades, or even Culinary Arts until you have served two thirds of your time. Even then, one can only sign up to take the class and the waiting period could be another 2 or 3 years prior to entry.

I learned early on that the prison institution can be one of two things for you: It can be your tombstone; or your steppingstone. Luckily for me, I’ve chosen the latter. Even though they have made it more difficult to participate in these programs, I believe we must educate ourselves and further our mental cognition by any means necessary. And I try to be an example of that by way of my actions. Being that I’m serving a long indeterminate sentence behind a wrongful conviction, I still have faith in God and opted to not allow anything to obstruct me from becoming a better man through spiritual elevation. Since I been in prison, I have achieved my High School Equivalency Certificate (I thank God for my teacher, Mr. Brown, who had convinced me at that time that I was much smarter than I thought) and from there I achieved Custodial Maintenance Technology, Blood Bourne Pathogens Program, Introduction to Computers, Tech Math, Keryx Program, and I have penned three books so far. My latest book is a self-help guide that’s geared towards helping young Black American youth avoid cultural pitfalls and strive to be positive role models in their community by leveraging their mental state of mind. The mind is the most difficult thing to open, but once it is, it knows no bounds!!!

In conclusion, we (the forgotten) shouldn’t be completely abandoned by American society. After all, we simply reflect of that which needs to be corrected in it, such as fractured homes, poor education, gang initiation, drug infiltration, gun saturation, mass incarceration, and lack of opportunities that’s rooted in social oppression. Therefore, we’ve all have fallen short at some point or another in life, but yet deserve a second chance to get it right. After all, we are not simply a prison number to be counted during count time, but more accurately human beings – descriptively someone’s beloved son, brother, uncle, or father who long to be healed by the power of love, compassion, and understanding. [If] we could only re-imagine a world that set out to truly “correct;” instead of condemning its citizens by providing the necessary tools required to open the door to greatness. [If] we could only re-imagine a world that set out to see the best in each person; instead of the worse, I will argue then, and only then, will America begin to live up to its biggest promise that’s anchored in justice, equality and freedom for all.

BREAKING BARRIERS AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: OUTSIDE OF THESE PRISON GATES (PART 1) BY:TITU$ BANK$

Unfortunately, there is no manual or guide book to help those,who are in our lives or come into our lives to prepare them for this journey we’re facing while being incarcerated. Most relationships (Family, Friends ,and Significant Others) dwindle away over time and become memories, but there is a small percentage that literally stands the test of time. “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (GENESIS 2:18). FINDING INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION, EMPOWERMENT, AND VALUE FROM THOSE WHO ARE INCARCERATED:

Opening up to someone new can be difficult, because we all fear starting over and trying something new or different. However, we should take time to reflect on ourselves before we emerge into a new friendship or relationship. Sometimes we get caught up in temporary love affairs that come with hurt and heartache when it’s all said and done. You must not let your past relationships effect your future plans to move forward. So often we invest our time and energy into the wrong people only to look back regretting the time wasted. At that moment, we finally realize the value of time that has been shared with someone that was not beneficial to our future. If you have Family, Friends, Significant others, or you are interested in communicating with someone that is incarcerated, I encourage you to take some time out of your day and reach out to them. Motivation is very important, because our actions make the most sense when we have support to fuel our goals. It will be to our benefit if we have THE SUPPORT and BELIEF of those who are on the other side of the gates. “Sometimes our struggles in life, will place people in our lives that will push us over the edge, but God will bring those special people in our lives that will pull us up, and away from the edge.” (STEREOTYPES)

There is a misperception about the Men and Women that are incarcerated. Most people think that we are all users and manipulators that take advantage of others. The most egregious stereotypes are those that lean on ethnic or different racial upbringings. The depiction of the incarceration experience through the lenses of Hollywood entails stereotypical images. For example, the predator verses prey. Not all prisoners engage in certain acts such as homosexuality, continuous criminal minded behavior, being womanizers, manipulators, sociopaths, con-artist, thugs, misfits, or lazy individuals. But in the eyes of society, we’re all treated and looked at that same way. “WE ENCOUNTER MANY DEFEATS BUT WE MUST NOT BE DEFEATED.”(MAYA ANGELOU) In some cases these stereotypes are in fact true, but not all. For example, most prisoners such as myself, who are using their time to self-educate and move forward from their past misfortunes and bad decisions .As a man, I want to right my wrongs and continue to do more good deeds that will outweigh the bad choices I have made in my past. “Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs”(Jen Sincero). I am witnessing the different behaviors in prisoners that are able to communicate with Family, Friends, and Significant others verses the prisoners with no outside support. I am only speaking on my observation and my experience, because I feel inspired, motivated, empowered, and loved when I am able to communicate with my family and friends. I am around guys, who have no contact with people on the outside .These individuals are miserable, hateful, sad, envious, and angry. We call them forecasters because they always rain on someone else’s parade of joy or piece of happiness that is provided through visits, mail, phone conversations, and future plans of success. “Happiness is real when shared”(Carl Johnson McCandless). During these difficult circumstances it’s hard for an individual to be him or herself, everyone literally has a mask on (before Covid-19). Vulnerability is a sign of weakness in prison, everything and everyone is hard, so barriers are formed and genuine relationships are not built with the right people outside of these prison gates. As a result, the possible turns into the impossible, meaning: Individuals limit themselves from many things such as help and assists from others. In the months to come, I will be writing a five part article on Breaking Barriers and Building Relationships with the help and assistance provided by Thoughts Beyond the Wall. I am truly happy and grateful for this opportunity to share my thoughts with an audience outside of prison through this amazing outlet. I also would like to thank Joseph X and Camryn for this opportunity to be a part of this project. I applaud all those who support Family, Friends, and Significant Others that are incarcerated.

This is a PLATFORM for Myself, as well as others like Myself to further their CAREERS and EDUCATION beyond INCARCERATION.

As a Man, even in these current circumstances and conditions I am still pursuing my DREAMS.I am working on becoming a PRODUCTIVE/PROLIFIC WRITER by improving my craft and work ethic. I aspire to be a BESTSELLING AUTHOR that will ENTERTAIN,INFORM,INSPIRE,MOTIVATE,EMPOWER,AND ADD VALUE to all those,who wish to CORRESPOND and READ my material. “SUCCESS ISN’T EASY YET ITS NOT IMPOSSIBLE.” REDEMPTION,REBUILDING,RESTORING,REWRITING,REWARDING AND REMINDING society that we can change and become REHABILITATED by REESTABLISHING ourselves back into society with the proper ASSISTANCE and RESOURCES provided along this journey.

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My Voice- Nathaniel Gilbert

Before corona I wore a mask, socially distant first. I wanted my space–antisocial and introvert. Battling inner demons, without exposing my hurt. Silent begs for help, too prideful to say the words. Boiling with anger, I rolled up to suppress it. intoxicants didn’t do it, still the problems were present. Heard a voice in my head that encouraged aggression. Acknowledged an evil presence and knew I had to be better. Turning to God I prayed, “Help me I’m lost.” Father, I tried everything except give You my all. Please forgive me I’m a sinner, heart opened for you to enter. I surrender, and through Christ I know my position. Now I’m living like a king is supposed to live, and I’m focused in. Speaking outside the box, my thoughts beyond the wall trend. Heavyweight, trained by the invincible. Hoping for the future that my quote become a principle. Everyday I’m better, planning for that to continue. Took the past out the present and adjusted for the future. Mind over matter cause the mind is what matters. This was just a piece of mine broken down into letters. By: Nathaniel Gilbert #618518