To the Youth in my Community
by Breon A.D.
It’s time for us to open our eyes and mind, reconsider some of the choices we’re making. What’s worth time away from your children, mother siblings, or anyone else that you may love? I ask because our lifestyle will separate us from the one’s we love rather temporarily prison) or permanently (an early death).
Our lives and time are far valuable then what we hold it to be. And I want you to know and understand this before you end up in the same position (fighting for my freedom) as me. We take our freedom for granted and we don’t even realize how easily it can be stripped from us.
I’m a prime example of this. I was one of the one’s that would misled/misguided to think running the streets was a natural way of life. Now I’m sitting here 10 years into a 50 year 100% sentence fighting everyday to have the remainder of my sentence expunged or knocked down just so I can enjoy life freely one more time by a reasonable age. So I can have time to see my son, nieces, and nephew grow up and not just seeing their growth through pictures. I was incarcerated at 20 years old and now I’m 30. You know how much I’ve missed within that decade? It’s so much more I want to experience in life that I may never have the chance/opportunity to do but yall have that chance to live so far beyond our neighborhood. The world is so much bigger than the blocks we circulate daily. So expand and visit other places just to say you’ve been there instead of being like me sitting in a cell watching the Travel Channel hoping to visit these places one day.
Let this letter beyour wakeup call and not when your in a cell indicted on a charge, take heed from this individual that’s been in your shoes and ran those same blocks! I don’t wish to see any of you in this human warehouse (prison). I’d rather turn it to CNN or Life of the Rich and Famous seeing yall doing something with your life. Don’t let the negativity that surround you daily dictate the outcome of your life. It may seem easier to drift towards the streets because that’s all we see but let that motivate you to do better. At the same time never forget where you come from the struggles and hardships, that way you can go back and reach out and help the next at riskyouth that may need a positive figure in their life. Sometimes that’s all it takes is for us to have that one positive figure in your life to keep us on track.
One of the biggest changes came in my life is when I start receiving a knowledge of self and becoming more conscious of my culture and history. It allowed me to start loving myself and our people more. It pushed me to become more than a negative statistic/stereotype of a black man! But I understand a lot of these changes won’t occur overnight all I ask for you is to start making the necessary steps to devising a better life for you and yours. It starts with SELF and once you have the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of that I know you’ll reach any goal. Imagine the happiness of your mother, grandmother or whomever else that you have in your life seeing you walk across that stage (graduating) and becoming something of yourself.
Hopefully one day I can come home to help start up more programs in the neighborhood to give more kids outlets then what’s provided now.
Before I end this letter I hope that yall see through my letter and words I’ve done a lot of growing up in my life. It took years but its worth the time. If I’ve made the transition after everything I’ve done in my life I know yall can. It won’t hurt to try.
Dear Ms. Westin,
I want to thank you for providing us with the chance to express our minds to the youth. I hope the youth that gets a chance to read this take heed. I’m working on a avenue to reach directly to some of the youth in my neighborhood in Peoria, IL.
I also admire the fact yall have a outreach program I’m hoping to one day start one. But again I thank you.