“Police!” The shout from outside the front door was followed by the house shaking violently from a stampede of police exploding through the door. I was a terrified four-year-old in Spiderman pajamas staring at high-powered assault rifles aimed at me and my mother. After ransacking our home, the police soon realized that they had raided the wrong apartment. It was … [Read more...]
Reaching Out From Within:
In October 2011, Jeffrey Young submitted his first commentary to the MSR. His following commentaries became “Reaching Out From Within,” a column in which he wrote about issues surrounding his incarceration. “Reaching Out” was regularly published in the MSR through April of 2014.
We welcome Jeffrey Young back with the commentary below, giving readers a vivid glimpse through his eyes as he reaches out from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Rush City.
During one of my summer breaks from college, I was sitting outside enjoying the summer breeze. In one hand I held a mayonnaise jar full of red Kool-Aid and ice. In my other hand I held a book on Egyptian culture. While reading, the sounds of a car creeping by and indistinct chatter from a two-way radio dislodged my mind from Egypt. When I raised my eyes from the book, a … [Read more...]
“You have 60 seconds left on this phone call,” blurts the automated voice. It’s an irritating reminder of where I live. When I talk to my daughter on the telephone, my confinement in prison fades into a vague reality. The 60-second warning yanks my consciousness out of the mirage my surroundings have morphed into. I’m not in the park pushing my daughter on the swing, … [Read more...]
Conclusion of a three-part column It’s another sunny day in the ’hood, and the same old tired events are unfolding. A young brother is swindled, mean-mugged, and called a punk. Feeling disrespected, the young brother chooses his response. Acting on impulse, blinded by juvenile pride and infantile rage, he curls his finger tightly around the lemon-squeeze trigger. As each … [Read more...]
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” — Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple At first glance, it can appear that people who have an abundance of money also possess the sole power to determine other people’s destinies. For example, education, suffrage, liberty and property ownership contribute to the quality of our … [Read more...]