Charles Anthony Jackson Jr.
Charles Anthony Jackson Jr. is a Detroit Michigan Native who was raised in a small city within Detroit known as Highland Park. He grew up to be raised by his father who was a single parent. Charles’ grandparents played a significant role in his life as a child, due to his father being a victim to drug abuse, as well as being involved with different women who tried to fill the absences of his biological mother. His biological mother left the home before Charles was of age. Despite Charles’ father’s drug abuse and role as a single parent, he always taught Charles right from wrong, telling him to get an education and instilled a strong work ethic. Charles was his only son and his father took great care to instill from an early age the meaning of a day’s hard earned pay.
Charles was an only child allowed him to witness the negative lifestyle of crime which his grandparents tried to shelter him from by keeping him involved in Sunday School activities and being a strong support factor in his life. Upon Charles’ grandparents passing, he found himself to be given more freedom by his father to roam the streets of Highland Park where he was introduced to drugs, violence, and other criminal activities. Even knowing right from wrong, Charles still gravitated towards the dark underworld of crime, finding himself in and out of trouble during his early years. Charles knew that he had to change his life or he would find himself dead or in prison! Sadly, as his life started to steer in a positive direction, he still found himself awaiting trial for felony murder along with robbery and conspiracy. In a 3 day Jury trial, he was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Since being incarcerated, Charles has given his life completely to Allah following a spiritual path as a Moorish American Moslem, relinquishing the lifestyle of criminal completely! Known as Jackson Bey within the walls of prison, he has become a pillar of his community by the message he brings and a mentor to the young and old. He has sought the course of education, just as his father always wanted for him by earning his G.E.D, along with a trade in Custodian Maintenance Technology. Charles has completed several self-help classes to include substance abuse, Alcoholics Anonymous, and House of Healing. Charles has taken on the task of being a Prisoner Observation Aide, someone who watches over suicidal prisoners to ensure that they don’t themselves. These observers save the lives of many prisoners! Charles went on to complete many other classes while being incarcerated such as a creative writing course through Oakland University along with completing a sign language course. Another notable course was the 15 week Criminal Restorative Justice in which led him along with a small group of men to found a think tank group based on the principles and values learned from the course.
Mr. Jackson Bey has had three articles published through an abolition newsletter called The Opening Statement which speaks for those who are supposed to remain silent. It does so by attacking the issues many incarcerated men and women face throughout Michigan Correctional Facilities bringing awareness to those who really don’t know about the injustices that take place inside the institutional setting. Charles is a voice not often heard beyond the walls of prison, but thanks to his brother in Islam, Joseph, the blogsite Thoughts Beyond The Wall was started and it has given Charles (Jackson Bey) an outlet to continue his mission of uplifting fallen humanity through his words of knowledge and wisdom. Jackson Bey once spoke the language of ignorance, criminality, and hate not knowing he was mentally enslaved to sin and these languages were the root of many of his personal issues as well as society’s. Now he operates for solution as a man freed mentally and spiritually who has sought forgiveness from those he deeply pained from his past and lack of respect for human life. He toils day and night for another opportunity at freedom, to rejoin society as a productive member so that he can contribute and give back to his community, family, and friends. Until that time arrives, Charles will continue to enlighten the minds of many with truth, utilizing his voice for the men and women behind these walls to show that people do change and can earn another chance at life in society through their actions, words, and deeds…