The Khalil Amani Reader

Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!

Inside the Inmate: Letters From My Incarcerated Brothas

Inside the Inmate: Letters From My Incarcerated Brothas

by Khalil Amani

I truly believe that some of America’s best minds are behind the concrete—tucked away in the prison cells of America. I have family members who are serving time, as do most black folk. Black and Latino men and women make up the majority of the prison population. We can argue ad nauseam as to why this is the case, but I’d rather let others do that. What I do know is that many inmates are sincere about changing their circumstances once they are set free. There will always be those recalcitrant ones. We see the recidivism rates. For some, it’s an endless/vicious cycle—a revolving door of normalcy for those hardened criminals. But for others, prison has a way of making a person introspective.

 

I wrote this blog to share a few letters I’ve received from inmates all over the country who read my articles in Straight Stuntin Magazine. In prison, it’s not all about looking at the fly honeys between the pages! At some point, one gets tired of masturbating and fantasizing about which chick is their woman. This is where I (and others) come in. We’re here to educate and entertain. Our words become nourishment for the Soul and food for thought.

 

Some of you all have never read Khalil Amani and take my Facebook and Twitter blog postings for granted—never making time to read my work because your life is too full and your attention span is too short. I do understand, but I promise you that if you had to do a bid, you’d be all over Khalil Amani like a cheap suit!

 

Brothers like DJ Kayslay, whose magazine (Straight Stuntin) has given me a platform to speak my truth and for inmates to have a voice outside of the concrete jungle of the pen. Beyond the beautiful chicks and the hip-hop nature of the magazine, there’s lots of great stuff for inmates to ponder, discuss and reflect on. This is why we do this!

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! My “real” followers and supporters (with the exception of a few) aren’t on Facebook—my Movement isn’t on Twitter! My Movement is with the downtrodden, the disenfranchised, the marginalized—those serving time in the penal institutions of America. As much as they appreciate being able to email me, I appreciate the feedback. It makes my writing all the more worth the time. So, without further ado, listen to them. (*I deliberately DID NOT edit these letters. One’s grammar can be an insight as to a person’s mindset and educational level.)


WILLIE T WORSHAM (33158183) HEY WHATS UP, I READ YOUR ARTICAL THATS IN THE STRAIGHT STUNTIN MAG AND IT TOUCH ME IN A WAY THAT REALLY HAD ME THINKING ABOUT THE RELIGION. YOU WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT YOU WAS THE DEVIL. I REALLY WANT TO BUILD WITH YOU ON ALOT OF THINGS THATS GOING ON IN LIFE ITS SELF AND THE WORLD. MY NAME IS WILLIE, BUT EVERYONE CALLS ME ''WOO'', IM FROM VA, BUT I MOVE TO ATLANTA. RIGHT NOW IM IN FEDERAL PRISON IN PA, ILL BE HOME THIS YEAR AND LIKE I SAID ITS ALOT THAT I WANT TO BUILD WITH YOU ABOUT. THANK YOU FOR ACCEPTING THE E-MAIL. AS A CHILD OF GOD OUR FATHER I REALLY WOULD LIKE TO GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU OF WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER[ MEANING , THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM ] , THAT I SEE YOU HAVE TO GIVE. WE AS PEOPLE CAN LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY IN LIFE IF WE JUST LISTEN AND TAHE HEED TO WHATS BEEN SAID OR GIVEN. I AS A MAN WITH A WIFE AND 4 KIDS IS WILLING TO LEARN AT ALL TIMES, TO MOVE FORWARD IN LIFE . GET WITH ME ,WOO.


MELVIN JR EDWARDS (14916032) shalom shalom brother! i would like to thnk u for accepting my email request. ive read some things u wrote in staight stuntin magazine and i wanted to reach out to u. the article on is america sodom of modern times was interesting. I agree that it is not but some things about homosexuality which im totally against well... im a hebrew yisraelite and we know that homosexuality is a great abomonation to the MOST HIGH.i am not scared of homosexuals but i do condone the practice of it both male and female. to each his own but when confronted with my position on the matter i have to make know what i believe! we are to not strenghthen the hand of any evikl doers and the practice of homosexuality is evil as well as them gettig married but thats another topic altogether. but i comend u on trying to bring truth and knowledge to our people. may the creator of heaven,earth,the sea and all that there in is whose name is YAHWEH ALONE bless you! halleluYAH! SHALOM SHALOM!


CHRISTOPHER WILSON (11959171) My name is Christopher Wilson a 32 year old African- American male. Currently I am incarcerated in Brooklyn New York (federally) on a probation violation (tears)... As of recent, I've been reading several of your articles in various magazines .I have a passion for literature sir and I have wrote multiple books and for the past few years, I've used my "up-bringing" as a black male from South Carolina who grew up less fortunate as an excuse to not pursue my dream of becoming a professional and published Author. With all due respect sir, I have various samples of my work that I'm asking that I can possibly take a look at. I feel in my heart, you'll be "highly impressed". If possible please find it in both your time and heart to allow me to forward my material to you. GOD BLESS


JOSE SAINZ (19837298) my name is jose, im a 28 year old latino an inmate at a federal prison serving a 120 months for transporting drugs into this country.i want to thank you for accepting my email request and for opening my eye's with ur knowlegede through your article,"the hood has lied to us." last night i purchased the straight stuntin magazine from a brother off the yard,and after reading what you wrote,it reassured me thatmy past life style is'nt what i want any more but to continue to push forward with a positive successful state of mind.sometimes it's discouraging and i want to give up and constantly find myself feeling like caine not knowing what to do with my life and if i want to continue to live or die.i once thought like priest but now that i have nothing left but these musician hand's and a poet's mouth, i will be the one to demystify the hood and pull back the veil and expose it's rotten core.again,thank you so much for the wisdom and insight.it takes two to speak the truth-one to speak,and another to hear.i welcome any feed back,help,guidence,and schooling.it will be highly appreciated and tooken into consideration...my loyalty is one of a kind,gracias!


RUSSELL EWING MCKINNON (17938075) My name is Russell Mckinnon,I am a good in the struggle who's incarcerated, and I am an inspiring/un-published Author that has over 10 Manuscripts written that I am trying to get some explosure to. I am a writer of all genre. I have a spiritual book of christian faith written entitle {HOW IS YOUR FAITH} that I am trying to get publish. plus, I have five- Urban street lit books written. If you can assist me in this area please get back in contact with me thru email, and if you would like to check out a few chapters or what not, please let me know. TO check out my Face Book page, go to (royalg.61587@yahoo.com) Russell Mckinnon is my Full name. Thank you for your time.

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