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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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my life in letters

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Life In Letters

(letters from beloved. he paid someone to decorate the envelopes. they are so beautiful!)

Over the past 8+ months beloved and I have exchanged upwards of 300 letters. Some of them mundane, and many more full of raw energy and wanting. Enclosed in the last letter were two poems. Two beautiful gifts. These letters and words keep me/us going in spite of the distance, and the setbacks, and the feelings of missing and loneliness, and sometimes guilt. Beloved wrote...

With every moment that passes
In every hour of each day
My thoughts reflect like the blue
Of the ocean's waters onto the sky
With the sun rays

It's your smile that fills my inner vision
With a light full of warmth
Penetrating the darkness
with your loving presence
comforting my essence

With every memory of times we shared
Keeping you as my constant companion
I stare as if into thin air
I struggle to keep you near
Through salty tears

So dear, you are where you are
Within me Within us
Within God we trust
What is communicated with each touch
I miss you so much

Today was supposed to be the start of the trial, but once again, the DA wasn't ready. We must wait...and this time, we will have to wait an entire summer for the end, some end, to come to this. I pray that in the waiting we will continue to grow and continue to have faith in each other and in God.

Speaking of God, beloved traded Jesus for Allah and his mother (who is a super holy roller), is in denial. I, on the other hand, have always held true to the belief that Allah, Jesus, Jehovah....are all one in the same. Of course, it's hard explaining this to the peopleI know (esp. considering I am a Baptist minister's granddaughter), but it's how I feel. Last night, I saw a documentary called "Three Faiths, One God" which explored the connections and shared history of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It was so fascinating (and affirming). I wish I could send it to beloved. He is just starting to learn what Islam is, and I would hate for him to fall victim to an Imam that preaches separation instead of unity. Everyone of each faith should watch this film and realize that we are all serving the same God. Perhaps then, the conflicts and wars and pain would cease.

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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 2:07 PM 9 comments

Throwback Thursdays: NY Undercover

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Throwback Thursdays: NY Undercover

I have always had a crush on New York City.

When I was 8 my family and I went to NYC with my grandparents. My grandfather, a minister, was conducting a revival at a Bronx church, and my brother and I begged my mom to let us go along. Not for church, but to see the city for ourselves. She eventually caved and we packed up for a 2 week stint in the Bronx.

I was in awe

Even the trip from the airport was an adventure. Our driver/tour guide/pastor of the Bronx church drove like a madman (or so I thought), stopping in the middle of traffic to grab us some "authentic" hot dogs from a man on the corner. The buildings seemed to climb endlessly into the sky, while the iron lion weaved through a maze of apartment buildings. For two weeks I rode around taking in the streets and sounds. I wondered if Sesame Street was real, and if so, could somebody tell me how to get to it. I was in love. And over the years my crush, my lust for the city grew stronger.

Fast forward.

1994. I was a freshman in high school, consumed by Illmatic, and dreaming of packing up and moving to New York City. I sent off for info about NYU and I instantly gravitated to shows/books/films based in the New York. After seeing ad upon ad for a new, urban who-done-it cop show about based in New York and featuring some of hip hop’s finest, I knew I had to watch.

Billed as the new-and-improved Miami Vice, NY Undercover stormed onto Thursday nights and (in my opinion) launched Fox as REAL network. This show crammed sex, drama, the city, and a banging soundtrack into one hot hour. Every Thursday night at 9, Torres and Williams helped me to explore another piece of the city.

For four years I rode shotgun from Harlem to Wall Street, exploring every seedy and siddity part of town. Risking life and limb, Eddie and JC easily morphed into drug dealers, cult members, bikers and drag queens, never failing to catch the perp (and most times a fly girl). From the theme song to the performance at Natalie's, the show had me hooked. Dressed in the latest Karl Kani, Mecca, and PNB gear, Williams and Torres made cops look cool again.

Even though NY Undercover was completely dismantled and killed in 1998, it was good while it lasted. Thanks to reruns on TVOne & Si TV, I can still ride along with the flyest detectives New York has ever seen.

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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:23 AM 7 comments

On The Outs

Sunday, June 18, 2006

On the Outs

There is nothing more powerful than a good story

Saturday night while browsing through Fader Magazine at Barnes & Noble, I saw an ad for the indie film called "On the Outs." I read the reviews, noticed one of the actresses from "Raising Victor Vargas," and filed it away in the back of my mind. I knew I was making a trip to Hollywood Video that night to pick up a DVD for my mom, so I thought I would pick something up for myself.

Since beloved's been incarcerated I have pretty much stopped watching DVDs. It was one of the things we loved doing together. We would hit up the DVD store on 14th & 6th Ave and buy a few flix, order take out, pop some popcorn & enjoy hours of movies. Since he's been gone I haven't been able to watch many DVDs. I don't think this has been a conscious choice, but I have rarely been in the mood. But last night, there was something about the ad that made me want to watch this film.

Based on the stories of young women in juvenile detention centers, "On the Outs" is a gripping tale of three young women from Jersey City dealing with the hard knocks life has thrown their way. There is Suzzette, the "good girl" who gets caught up with a fast-talking, drug dealing boyfriend, Oz, the seemingly hardened gangster girl who deals drugs, despite the toll they have taken on her mother, And Marisol, the single mom whose drug addiction threatens her involvement in her daughter's life. On the surface, each story seems like just another story about girls pissing their life away. But the beauty and the power of this film happens when you realize just how normal and human each one of these girls are.

Perhaps it was the adept storytelling or the weight of beloved's and my situation, but I found myself sobbing, uncontrollably about halfway through this film. Despite their behavior, their bad decisions, and their crimes, each girl had a story that was is palpable, so real, that you can't help but feel for them and even imagine yourself in their shoes.

In the tradition of indie films like Girl's Town and Our Song, On the Outs perfectly illustrates how easy it is for anyone to get caught up in the downward spiral of bad decisions. Today, young women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. Many of these girls get locked up before they even reach the age of 13. Because of these alarming trends, this film is so important. With realistic storytelling and poignant acting, this film can change the way we see our sisters, daughters, and mothers. Now, instead of writing them off for bad choices we may be able to understand why those choices were made. Understanding is the first step in finding common ground and saving our girls and boys from making damaging choices. I encourage everyone to see this powerful film.

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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:23 PM 6 comments

Government Sponsored AIDS?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Government Sponsored AIDS?

25 years after the first case of HIV was diagnosed, and 10+ years after TLC stapled condoms to their clothes and championed safe sex, Black people, and in particular Black women, are contracting HIV at an alarming rate.

Newsweek recently released a series on its website regarding "The Crisis In America," dealing with HIV/AIDS in the Black Community. Although black people make up only 13% of the population of the US, we account for more than 50% of new HIV patients. Furthermore, according to medical professionals, there are approximately 1 million people who have the HIV virus and do not know it. Because of this, the CDC released new guidelines to recommend conducting voluntary HIV testing for everyone between the ages of 13 to 64 during physicals (read them here).

Let me preface this by saying, I am not as well versed as I probably should be about this issue, but I am very curious.

In a controversial new article, "Out of Control: AIDS and the corruption of medical science," scientific journalist Celia Farber argues that AIDS is a "chemical syndrome, caused by accumulated toxins from heavy drug use." Furthermore, "many cases of AIDS are the consequence of heavy drug use, both recreational (poppers, cocaine, methamphetamines, etc.) and medical (AZT, etc.)." Farber writes...

Nobel laureate Kary Mullis, who discovered the revolutionary DNA technique called the polymerase chain reaction, has long been a supporter of Duesberg, but he has grown weary of the AIDS wars and the political attacks on contrarian scientists. "Look, there's no sociological mystery here," he told me. "It's just people's income and position being threatened by the things Peter Duesberg is saying. That's why they're so nasty. In the AIDS field, there is a widespread neurosis among scientists, but the frenzy with which people approach the HIV debate has slacked off, because there's just so much slowly accumulating evidence against them. It's really hard for them to deal with it. They made a really big mistake and they’re not ever going to fix it. They're still poisoning people."

Duesberg thinks that up to 75 percent of AIDS cases in the West can be attributed to drug toxicity. If toxic AIDS therapies were discontinued, he says, thousands of lives could be saved virtually overnight. And when it comes to Africa, he agrees with those who argue that AIDS in Africa is best understood as an umbrella term for a number of old diseases, formerly known by other names, that currently do not command high rates of international aid. The money spent on antiretroviral drugs would be better spent on sanitation and improving access to safe drinking water (the absence of which kills 1.4 million children a year). (read the entire article)

This article is both loathed my medical professionals and embraced by those who think that HIV is a man-made tactic to wipe out certain groups of people. Last year, the Washington Post covered a study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, that found that nearly half of the 500 black people surveyed believed that HIV was either cooked in a lab to kill people or was created and spread by the CIA.

Whether you believe AIDS is a man-made phenomenon or a natural catastrophe, as black people we must stand up and do our part to educate and protect each other. If we don't, no one will.

UPDATE: I meant to post this article about the origins of AIDS. According to this MSNBC article, the virus originated in wild chimps in Cameroon (read more).

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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 6:52 AM 5 comments

The End of Affirmative Action?

Monday, June 05, 2006

The End of Affirmative Action?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide the extent to which public schools can use race in deciding school assignments, setting the stage for a landmark affirmative action ruling.

Justices will hear appeals from a Seattle parents group and a Kentucky parent, ruling for the first time on diversity plans used by a host of school districts around the country.

Race cases have been difficult for the justices. The court's announcement that it will take up the cases this fall provides the first sign of an aggressiveness by the court under new Chief Justice John Roberts.

The court rejected a similar case in December when moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was still on the bench. The outcome of this case will turn on her successor, Samuel Alito.

''Looming in the background of this is the constitutionality of affirmative action,'' said Davison Douglas, a law professor at William and Mary. ''This is huge.'' (read entire article here...)


i always flinch at those who say affirmative action is racism in reverse. first and foremost...white women have benefited SIGNIFICANTLY from affirmative action, because as women, they are considered a minority. so affirmative action has not only afforded greater opportunities for people of color, but it has also grown the white middle class (but you never hear about that do you?).

now...for the colored people that claim we are being crippled by affirmative action...the fact is, the playing field is not level. people of color (and economically disadvantaged people) do not have equal education. our schools are poor, failing, and do not have enough resources to teach our kids how to compete in the world. second-rate education limits our access to college, which limits our access to jobs. so to say...we should nix affirmative action to be fair, is laughable at best.

but this is my opion. i'm curious to know what you guys think of this issue. should we scrap it? fight to keep it? does AA give unfair advantages to minorities? is it racist against whites?

talk to me people.

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Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:15 AM 3 comments

Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka

Friday, June 02, 2006

Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka

Yes yes y'all (yes y'all)
O.G.C., Heltah Skeltah be the best y'all (best y'all)
Fab 5 slam from East to West y'all (West y'all)
Sound pound straight through your bubble vest y'all (vest y'all)

Fam, it's Friday! Even though this week was a short one, it seemed so long. My Memorial Day weekend wasn't what I wanted it to be. I barely cleaned, I didn't relax, and I think I got sun burned. But, at least I didn't have to work, right?

Yes Yes Y'all....

After dropping off the little one this morning, I cranked up my stereo (and the bass) and proceeded to scare all the old white people in West LA. Don't you just love to make your rearview rattle with the bass? I was definitely having a Master Ace moment, speakers blaring Heltah Skeltah like it was '96. Ok, so I'm on an old skool kick right now, but this new ish don't make my speakers knock.

Today's iPod Commute Playlist

1. Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka (Duck Down)
2. Step Into A World (The Blastmaster strikes again)
3. Love You Better (Ladies Love James Todd)
4. Definition (Cuz I'm a Black Star)
5. Inna Heart (A real fiyah man she want inna heart)
6. Buck Em Down Rmx (i ain't taking no shorts)
7. Sugar Honey Iced Tea (it's better than a milkshake)
8. Break You Off (Black Thoughts are sexy as hell)
9. The Way You Make Me Feel (you know how much I care about you right?)
10. Sincerity RMX (I love escobar AND nasir jones)
(i'm too lazy to track down all the links. sorry. if you don't know the above songs, do an amazon search)


so what are y'all listening to RIGHT NOW?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 11:18 AM 7 comments