Dispised & Rejected

by S. Amir Farrakhan

Nonfiction, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, August 2021

More than 38 of my 58 years have been survived in America’s notorious prison industrial complex, commencing from the time I was 12 years old a man. An only child, I was raised by an unwed strong take no sh_ _ type of woman, whom had a very heavy hand, that was employed all to often.

I actually hated my mother, more so because of her disciplinary enforcement. I did not get spankings, I got Kunta Kentaed (the main character of the movie Roots). However, although she beat me like I was a hebrew slave, she was an excellent provider. I’ve never known hunger, had my own room, new clothing & an abundance of games & toys, I even had my own T.V.

As tradition would have it, I’ve not known the face of my biological father. He was a soldier in “ol massa’s army,” whom wanted my mother to move to Chicago & she declined & so he went on his merry way, never sending me even a can of milk. I did however see a photo of him that my mom has.

But this behavior is a common idiosyncrasy that veils Black humanity in Amerikkka & affects all of the descendants of those sacred Souls that were compelled to this land of the free, in the belly of slave ships, like the Jesus of Lebeck among many that set sail through the middle passage.

It was a common practice of ol massa to abduct the infant from its mother & sell off the father to sire children on other plantations after impregnating all the other “heifers,” as he called the Blackwoman. And there is a word that I don’t recall, but it appellates a condition of the mind that’s brought on when an experience is so atrocious, it’s engrossed in & passed down one’s bloodline from generation to generation. I believe this has a direct bearing on the Blackmale in his ability to impregnate women & keep it moving as if the child is solely the responsibility of the mother.

However, Allah did place a very beautiful man in my mother’s life, who was with her before my birth & other than Allah, is the only Father I know & is still in my corner til this day & loves me hard. And I was raised right, he only spanked me once with a cloth belt & my mother made him do that. So why have I spent more than half my life in a prison cage? Guess what? It had nothing to do with my rearing.

The so-called educated amongst us, the “educated negros” taught in the schools & universities of our open enemies, teach us that our quality of life depends on the choices we make, not revealing that choice can be manipulated, because the mind can be manipulated & controled to a great extent if not utmost.

It’s not by chance that Black folk make up only 11% of these United States, yet better than 40% of its prison system. This implies that we, the original people of the earth, the builders of the great pyramid & the greatest civilizations & whom are renowned as the Master builders & mimicked in the masonic lodges by those who enslaved us, are prone to crime. And what’s sad is that many of our own kin take the position that we are. But remember that they are educated & trained by ol massa. It’s even worse when you find those that ol massa has made into himself. During antebullem, this breed of Blacks were referred to by their peers as “House Niggers” & they have no pride nor shame. In fact, they are examples of the manipulated & controlled mind & exist right now today.

A good example is in “corrections” or law enforcement. My grandmother was amongst those Blacks that marched, got beat with clubs & sprayed with water hoses & had flesh eating dogs sicced on them, as they protested for Blacks to be given jobs in law enforcement, to ensure that we would be protected, treated justly & fairly while in jails & prisons. However most of them hired could not have gotten that notice. But there are a very small few, whom are not under subjugation of the badge they proudly wear over their most precious organ, (the heart). Its image is a tyrant, (hermaphrodite) standing on a vanquished Black king. This is the concept, the foundation of this state & it’s fed to every employee in subtle increments, (Sic Semper Tyrannis) this is the aim & purpose of this state Virginia. Look up the word tyrant, & you’ll see what we are under (overt oppression) enforced by the now children of the slaves, “remarkabal!”

I grew up in near abject segregation, programed by white supremacy at every angle, in school the book they started us on was titled, The Little White House about a Caucasian family with a dog named Flip whom said, “Bow wow,” On T.V. the only serious character that looked like me was Bill Cosby who played a Black spy for ol massa. Black folk in this era were still trying to assert themselves, & in the hood there was not alot of positive influences. People for the most part were as Marvin Gay sang, “Trying to get over.”

I fell victim to the gangster shows on T.V. & whole heartedly embraced Al Capone. I wanted to be like him, thus I was fascinated with guns & crime of which is prevalent in poorer hoods & easily accessible, (which is all by design). So the only heros I had who looked like me where I grew up were the athletes & hoodlums & I had my choice made for me by circumstances & conditions which chose for me. The sure rout[e] was crime.

The conditions in & of any community can be & are manipulated. When institutions of employment, businesses, commerce, etc. are removed from a community, a chasm of depletion is created & what follows is poverty which changes the orientation of the mind, making it more susceptible to sugestion, especially subliminal, which is done through music & vision, esp. television “programing.” So when one is put in a sink or swim situation is there really a choice being offered, better yet, if I tell one that I’m going to kill you, pick which gun, a 357 or 44. Is that really a choice? And out of said conditions which imposed on my thinking, boredom sets in, then depression & I turned to older guys in my hood whom fed that chasm with criminal ideas & thus I began my “so-called gangster.”

As a result, reformatories & prisons have been a major part of my life, of which has taken a heavy toll on my mother’s & caused me to be absent in my own children’s lives, so there has been a snowball effect. But what it has done is brung my mother & me closer. Since 1994 she’s been the greatest mother & my very best friend.

However, it’s no secret that we, the Blackman, woman & child are an endangered species, we are not equal citizens in this country & white folk demonstrate this each second, we are still oppressed, exploited & abused. Understand that citizens do not need civil rights, even those of my kind whom have been employed in his systems of government, to him & his constituents in & of the ruling class in & of the higher echelon of society, are merely “things” to be used to help him advance & to maintain control of the common folk not on his team.

This is too Black to win this contest. It might anger ol massa!


Land of the Free

Land of the Free

Marlan Barrington

Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility writing contest, August 2019

How can we call this the land of the free? When we have a major human rights issue, we have more people incarcerated than any other nation in the world. How was this nation ever great or ever will be great? The honest answer to that is, it never was great and maybe in due time this nation can become great, this nation treats its people like numbers more than they are treated like actual human beings and that just isn’t humane. I believe it’s time for a change from these outdated laws and lawmakers whose mind states are in an outdated time period, things in this era change fast and I believe certain things such as laws and people should change just as fast to keep up with the climate, as they say in Jamaica “Ah young people time now”.

I believe drug abusers should receive more mental health care, not jail time. Jail doesn’t provide the right means to rehabilitation for an abuser, it adds pressure and stress that builds up in a person. This causes them to relapse when they are released from incarceration, the War on Drugs was a failure considering drug use was on the decline before the “war” was declared, and the drug that boosted the “war” was “Crack”, which didn’t mysteriously hit the streets till sometime after the “War on Drugs” was declared, there were two “wars” that was declared but the one involving the Contras is the one that turned its people into monsters.

If we put the same amount of energy into helping those who need it mentally, that we put into trying to arrest them and properly rehabilitate them, we would have a much better society, I believe honestly feel that the jail/prison system should be for violent offenders, such as murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc. As a capitalistic nation there’s other ways to make money besides Mass Incarceration, which is hurting us, putting out a bad image of us to the rest of the world, making our nation look just as some of the same nation we look down on such as those in the Middle East.

How can we say we want world peace when we don’t even have peace within our own nation? Once we as a nation find our sense of community things can start to improve and problems will begin to find the best humane solutions. Some issues shouldn’t be issues in this nation, such as the sickening issue of homelessness. Those in need of assistance can be placed in facilities with or provide them with social work programs, to which they can complete and get on their feet. America is a capitalistic nation, we would want people to spend money, so why not give them what we want them to spend, at the same time boosting the economy, reducing the homeless numbers and also reducing unemployment rate.

The education system needs some improvement also, instead of when our youths grow up and enter the real world running into stressful situation, schools should start from Junior High School teaching kids about taxes, interest, mortgage, investments, debt, credit, and trades, so we can properly prepare them for the future. The money spent on the “Space Force” is insane. If aliens are real, how are we so sure they are a threat when history says our nation is usually the threat, or how do we know there will be some sort of galactic battle? Even the extreme amount of money we put into our military can be used for better things and the betterment of America’s social climate, Also since this is a capitalist nation, putting money to the society will increase education and jobs encouraging more workers, which would result in more money for the nation. Equality can’t be a quality without unity in the community!!



Shopping While Black

Shopping While Black

 Phillip Anderson

 Nonfiction, Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility, August 2019

 When walking into the room, the smell was uplifting the warm air made me feel comfortable. Just the smell of fresh fabric was enlightening to the environment. The salesman and woman were very nice and welcoming with smiles on their faces.

The layout and display of clothing was eye opening, the mannequins were very well styled which tells me the visual is creative. As I walk through the department store the music was relaxing. With nothing less than luxury brands surrounding me me me just want to shop.

As I get to the sportswear section to the far right back of the store, I noticed an army green silk Dries Van Nuton suit. My first thought was “I’m here for a client not myself.” Nuton happens to be my favorite sportswear designer.

As I’m admiring the silk luxury green fabric on the inexpensive suit (it was on sale) an young black sales man approaches with an very expensive Gucci suit in hand. He smiles and says, I have a better option in blue. Of course I checked it out, the only difference was the color and of course the price tag (Because it wasn’t an sale item)

Like most salesman who work off commission he’s trying to make me believe the suit he’s holding is better option because hes the person working in the high end store so hes right and of course to make more money for himself and the store today.

I went into a deep thought while still listening and being very polite…

“I’m a visionary, I see things others don’t in themselves. I’m very creative but quite, a really heavy thinker. I can listen to 12 conversations at once and still think through everything. I’m very well dressed also know what works for others, as far as clothing. Outrageously talented in seeing through people in their true colors a great observer. Most people think Im an easy target but I’m like a bullseye hard to hit home.”

This guy is trying his hardest. Very interesting piece I say to the well dressed salesman. The scent of his cologne was Satel 33 a very intruding and expensive smell. I simply thanked him for his opinion and moved on with my purchase.

While walking back to the front of the dimly lit store towards the register I noticed another mannequin with 3 amazing David Yurman bracelets, none of which on display for sale. I thought “Damn just the pieces I need to complete the look. Once I reached the register I noticed an older white guy standing about 6’3 dark hair blue eyes, wearing a navy colored suit white button up shirt with a red tie. His first words were…”How are you paying” with no emotion but a very stern look in his eyes. I thought hmmm, “No how are you”. “Did you find everything ok” or “Who helped you with your purchase” being that they do again work off of sales. I then realized he looked me up and down, I’m wearing a comfortable gray Nike tech sweat suit with blue and white Nike running shoes. I’m a little flamboyant with my mannerisms but not too much, just kind of in my shopping element but I’m almost sure he noticed I was Gay, and of course Black.

I went on to say I’m interested in your stores studio services.” Studio Services is a service most stores offer to creditable wardrobe stylist. He says this location doesn’t offer that service. Once I got that response I asked for the manager Chris which whom I work with all of the time who by all means know me very well and offered me these services on several locations and yes I’ve used.

My warm uplifting feeling all turned around now I’m feeling angry and very unhappy. After realizing I knew more than he thought, he started to try to explain he misunderstood what I was asking and he’ll be happy to help me. However at that point I figured I’ll deal with him later being I was pushing for time, I pulled out my card and ID, made my purchase and headed for the door.

What was supposed to be a very productive working day turned out to be very disappointing and stereotypical.

The following day I contacted Chris made him aware of my experience and he comped me my entire purchase. Moreover just because I didn’t lost my cool and act as expected I received a very expensive suit on the sake on me just keeping my cool. After being judged on who I am and what he thought I stood for, which I’m sure he thought was “NOTHING.”



Untitled – Non-fiction

Untitled – Non-fiction

Aaron Connnelley

Second place, Nonfiction, Arlington County Detention Facility, August 2019

Ima look back on my life and roar with laughter if my frail body allows me to do so. I can see me now khakis, suspenders, a fishermans hat and orthapedic New Balance somewhere in a rocker. No smokes, no 1800 vodka or Remy 1738. Why, because I gave all that up a long time ago. My hope is I’ll see some grandkids and maybe some great-grands. Humph.

Let me tell you about my Pop-Pop. Truth is I can’t wait to see him in heaven. I want to see 2-Pac too but first I need to talk to Pop-Pop. When Pop-Pop died I was just a kid. Was he spiritual I dont know. I didn’t see him in a church until his funeral. He looked peaceful in his blue three peace suit with matching tie. See he had this blue ring around each of his eyes from the cadiracs. I’d miss looking in his face as he gave me a toothy grin. He didn’t care to much for his partials.

The truth is I’ve been lost and stressed. When will I find my peace. Let me tell you some more about Pop-Pop. His grandparents were slaves. He witnessed the movement of civil rights. Somehow during the pressures of the times he found his place in a crazy world. His trade a mason working with bricks, stone and concrete laying a nest egg while providing for his family. Not biologically connected to the family tree his wife extended herself and their home to a innocent baby produced from ignorance, youthfulness and the naievity of a sixteen year old child, my mother.

Pop-Pop, I wish you could’ve told me what the good fight was all about or so I didn’t continuously fail repeating foolish behavior. Left just a note detailing how to manuver in a cruel world until I grew myself I wouldn’t get it. If he ever did suffer it wasn’t for him to share with a boy. His brain was stronger in the end that his sight so while the evening news broadcast detailed the war on drugs then in a sense the epodimic touched my mother causing her to escape responsibility leaving me as a addition to his home.

As a little boy I watched uncle “J” as I called him, Pop-pop’s son tend his garden located behind the house. In summer watermelons, peas, tomatoes, tall corn stalks. I dashed through the rows until I fell tierd in the grass exausted but content unaware of the true meaning I lived in Pop-Pop’s home. I can’t forget the grapevine aside the back garage, the rose bush with thorns I’d better watch for as I circled the house running at top speeds as fast as my short legs would allow me. Pop-Pop had made it though navigating in a world through world wars.

Oh I didn’t tell you about the two rifles I found in his bedroom closet. I’ll save that for another time.

One time PopPop with his failing eyesight drove me three blocks to school in a nice Caddilac he’s kept in his garage. I knew he kept a liquor bottle hidden in the kitchen in the top cabbinet. Was it rasicm, was it marriage, was it having a cancer that was slowly eating away at his life. I got some questions for him.

So, Pop-Pop dies I moved. Still little in a grown up world I didn’t understand. As I tell you all this I know, one day Ima be able to lean back and laugh so hard that tears fill my eye’s unashamed to fall because I’m happy not now though. No way I can laugh. Ain’t shit funny. Its not a game. I feel like its me or its you.

Life isn’t easy. I hooked up with some people started smoking cigs smoking weed and drinking. I lost intrest in school. Began to hang out with some other not so interested people. Hanging out turned into putting in work. The living situation I was in couldn’t contain a hurt looking for exceptance growing boy. The streets excepted me at least I thought so. The game will use you up and discard of you in a jail cell or a deep grave.

A negative energy has covered me. A man-child in a place dark as a black screen. Bitting my nails placing the bit nails in a neat pile. I need to get myself together. Lost in addiction holding on to my life with a thin thread. Let me pray maybe someones listening. Why am I in this abandoned place all alone. Hope Pop-pop cant see me like this. I’ve embraced ignorance. After I crawled out for some air the revelation is in the end of carelessness, self-pity, addiction, alcohalism, drug-use, sex out of marraige, incarceration and personal abuse. The insanity.

I choose even though I was served a bloody hand dealt challenges which come in forces of negativity. I will reflect the good and the bad. Journey into tommorrow’s with sure confidence. The reason I cried will be the significance that one day I will laugh. Successful like Pop-Pop (a black man) against all odd’s made it through. In the end yes, one day I will laugh with tears of joy and then share with all the history of my Pop-Pop and of the Malcolms, the Martins, the Mandelas, the Marcus’s, the Micheals, the Marvins that made it. I wont segregate the truth of our history but allow knowledge to set the chains free untieing the oppressing demonds of the past, present and future. Yea, one day I will laugh.

Truth under Attack

Truth under Attack

 Bryan M. Zemanski

 Third place, Nonfiction, Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility, August, 2019

             In modern America, most of us are constantly bombarded with news and information via mass media and technology. Staying informed without following false or misleading information can be challenging, and in this age where information is ubiquitous, facts appear increasingly subjective. As events in the real world are often nuanced and complex, and because bias is a relentless human tendancy, no single perspective or resource ensures absolute objectivity.

However, there exists a growing public sentiment that the mainstream mass media does not even strive for objectivity or honest. With much clamor about “fake news,” we see frequent heated controversy regarding basic facts of current events, historical and scientific information, and the actions and reputations of public figures. Narrowing down truth often requires diversified and critical research. To understand how we’ve gotten into such a conflicted state, we need to look at some of the history and complexities of modern mass media.

In the mid-twentieth century, mass media in America consisted of newspapers, radio, and a few nationally broadcast television networks. In recent decades, the media landscape has broadened to include a vast array of mediums thanks to advances in technology. Today, we enjoy twenty-four hour access to news and information as we’ve developed the infrastructure to equip the majority of people with uninterrupted communication via internet, satellite, cellular devices, and social media.

We can find dozens of raging pundits and sycophants screaming on cable so-called news networks, podcasts to entertain every interest and belief, and opinion-based news often dominates the headlines. The proliferation of misinformation and disinformation has rendered many skeptical, and conspiracy theories abound as some try to make sense out of nonsense. Often, what is portrayed as news at noon is debunked by six in the evening. The truth is on the move.

Realistically, fairness and objectivity are not ideals to which many journalists even aim to aspire. Information is often cherry-picked amongst the facts of real-life scenarios and is tailored into sensational and polarized narratives. The practice is neither new nor unique to our current cultural and political climate. Even in our nation’s earliest days, pamphleteers and tabloids dominated the media landscape with biased rhetoric. But in our modern society where limitless information is available at our fingertips, objective truth is often obscured not only by the slant of the author’s intentions but also by the sheer mass of interpretation available.

Mass media is a big business. With corporate financial stake in the mix and the practice of selling information for ads, ratings, and influence over public policy, we have grown accustomed to a daily prophesy of impending doom. Extremism captures the public’s attention thus that’s what sells the news. We have become desensitized to fear and anger as powerful influences prey on our basest instincts. Crisis, controversy, and terror are ever present, both real and contrived.

             When so-called facts are portrayed by media sources, nowadays we can easily access “alternative facts.” To many, this phenomenon of parallel narratives conjures up a disturbing likeness to the dystopian worlds created in the mid-twentieth century novels of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury. These authors wrote prophetically about societal and political interests destroying or manipulating the integrity of information to satisfy specific agendas. Although these authors’ works have long been used as instructional satire in academia, we have seen their popularity surge in recent years as they again top major bestseller lists.

If we base all of our beliefs and assumptions about reality on front page headlines, tickers, tabloids, and talking heads, we are destined to be fooled by spin. Certainly there are legitimate facts conveyed by some popular media sources and pundits, and there lies value in weighing the opinions of learned individuals, but the value of any argument lies in the accuracy of the information being expressed. As agendas and opinions run rampant, we need not be naively shepherded into tribalism or swayed by narratives disguised as news.

Of profound significance is the freedom of speech and freedom of the press afforded us in this great nation under the first amendment to the Constitution. We enjoy liberties and promote a culture of public discourse unparalleled in human history. In these United States, we may express ourselves as we wish without fear of imprisonment, but with these freedoms comes the risk of intellectual peril at the hands of those whose motivations exceed their integrity.

If we strive personally for objectivity and wish to glean truth in the age of information, we must be responsible to educate ourselves. This does not require pursuing a formal degree nor does it need to cost us a penny. A great place to begin is at a public library. Delving into historical documents, archives, public records, biographies, and other time-honored texts at least make us harder prey for purveyors of falsity. If we broadly research the past and present in concert, we can better understand how our current state of affairs fits into the context of history and the world about us. Objective truth exists but finding it may require some research.