Reparations of Self

What’s Godly everyone? I am Allure, The Seer of Truth, and I would like to give a big salute with the upmost respect to the founder of this incredible platform, Q.

Speaking of this topic, it all start with self. You know the first disagreement we had with the universe is accepting the false truth of separation from the universe and believing in everything outside of self. To know self is to know everything, to know everything is to know self – so when you look in the mirror you are looking at trillions of years of evolution. You are priceless. Look at the process it took just for elements to take form of human??? Well, news flash: you are that special specimen.

Before we think about reparations on wealth, first we need to seek reparations of self. The most valuable tool that anyone has and also the most powerful, is the mind. It has no beggining nor end. It has unlimited power and capabilities. You are exactly what you think, so think gigantic and stable and not little and fragile. Be consistent and persistent with knowing and understanding who you are and everything else will follow. A wise man of the east once said: “They’re either gonna become like you, or you will become like them. The choice is yours.”

-Allure

A Thin Line Between a Hero and a Criminal, Q’s Origin Story

I’m not sure how many people understand how thin of a line there is between the path of being a criminal, and the path of being a hero — other than the people who have walked it. More so, the people who have unfortunately stumbled upon the darker side.

I have been incarcerated going fourteen years now. Over this time, I’ve lost my grandmother, chose to pick up the practice of prayer and meditation, and through the help of a loved one, been able to embrace my great desire for higher education. Reflecting on my life, I’ve been able to ascertain the point where it all changed for me — a childhood experience where I trickled over the line where hero meets villain.

I’ve always considered myself a good kid. After several different location changes in my childhood, concepts like school and friends did not have the time to take an impacting hold on my life. However, I’ve always honored my parents, respected my elders, and was always ready to help anyone I could, when I could. My mother struggled with jobs and relationships as she tried to raise my siblings and I. She didn’t have enough energy to work long hours, endured massive migraines, chased behind three pre-teenaged boys (and a baby girl), on top of being very poor. An over-premissive parenting style seemed the viable option for her, so my brothers and I were free to roam and interpret the world on our own. Innocent enough, all of these factors set the ground for the childhood experience that changed my life.

I was ten years old when my family moved to a housing project in Durham, NC. Then, the Pokémon craze had set in heavy. Everyone had their gameboys, the videogames, and the trading cards. This craze didn’t fail to reach me either. I was totally in love with all things Pokémon.

I was at a cousin’s house, walking around their neighborhood. I was showing my cousins my rare holographic Pokémon cards, when a group of three older, unfamiliar kids walked up. I remember them clearly. One was a light-skinned boy, his hair was unkept and his clothes were a bit ragged and dirty. There was a kid who was big and round, he wore an old dress shirt that was too small for him, some old khaki pants and had a chipped tooth. The third was a very small boy who looked way younger than us. He had a bandana wrapped around his head with the knot tied to the front. “Hey, let me see those,” the light-skinned boy said. I looked at him with a smile on my face, and without hesitation gave him the cards in my hand. Excitedly, I began to explain the different cards and my love of Pokémon. Suddenly, he punched me in the shoulder and said, “These are mine now,” he then jumped back and threw up his fists in a fighter’s stance. I looked at him in amazement for a second before I understood what was going on. Outside of play – wrestling around with my brothers on the living room floor, I never had been in a fight before. Recognizing what was happening, I took a stance in defense of myself and my property. We danced in a circle, and before any strike was thrown, I saw a shiny piece of chrome glimmer in the corner of my eye, and then was frozen in astonishment. “What you gonna do now!?” is what the tiny bandana-ed boy said as he pointed a small handgun at my face. My mind and body were locked in place. Of course, I had never since an actual gun before, but being predisposed to cartoons, movies, and video games, I knew just how deadly a gun could be. Noticing how petrified I was, the boys turned away and fled with laughter and my trading cards in tow.

Seeing them disappear behind the houses of the neighborhood, anger and sadness boiled up inside of me. A raging ball of newly recognized emotions exploded, and I just erupted into tears. I sat on the porch of my cousin’s friend’s house shaking uncontrollably and bawling with my head in my lap. My younger brother sat beside me, his hand was rubbing me on my back in an attempt to comfort me. Strangely, I felt shame, cowardice, and disgust with myself. “Why didn’t I do something!? Why was I so afraid?” I cried inside and began I blame myself for being too kind, for giving the boy my cards. I looked at my little brother… I wanted to be strong for him, be his hero, and I felt like I had let him down. Through tear-filled eyes, I looked him in the face and cried out a promise, “I will never let anyone take anything away from me again!” Little did I know, that day and that promise would change my life forever.

Not too long after that encounter, I found it harder to walk away from confrontation or any type of situation that I could prove how brave I was. I found it harder to walk away from fights with the other kids, to walk away from challenges of thievery and delinquency. My behavior lead me to a childhood of truancy, underaged drinking, doing drugs and even joining a gang at the age of eleven. I no longer felt like a coward or a victim, but I didn’t realize at that age, that I was victimizing my mother and eventually myself with my erroneous quest for bravery. As a child, its hard to determine the line between being a hero and a villain. Even as adults, we look at most criminals as fearless or unhinged. These assumptions are not entirely true. Most of us here in prison were fatherless, scared children who managed our fear in distressing environments by imitating what we thought was brave.

Through meditation, prayer, and education, I’ve now come to realize what bravery truly is. I earned my GED within my first years of incarceration. I have been mentoring young men for over 10 years, helping them find their own spiritual journeys, tutoring various subjects, and motivating them to seek higher education. I currently take print-based college courses at Ohio University, studying to receive a degree in social sciences. I plan to use my education, reinforced by my experience to help deter youths who have fallen on the wrong side of that thin line. I also want to work with local legislators to create policies that support them.

While I’ve been able to achieve this level of growth during my incarceration, my story did not have to have this chapter of imprisonment. That leaves me with the questions: How can we save those noble little boys out there who are only seeking to be heroes? How do we teach them not only courage, but righteousness and strength, without ever having them see a jail cell? Through my story, I hope to increase the awareness that the world is full of these misguided good kids, who didn’t have a proper chance to find the heroes they truly were, before it was too late. If we can do a better job of identifying these special children, we can help them be more than just villains society believes deserve nothing more than a life of incarceration. We can create more heroes…

Our mission focuses on remembering the brilliance behind bars, giving incarcerated people who want to be heroes a chance to show the world that they CAN be.

– Q. Patterson, Creator and Organizer of BrillinaceBehindBars.com

Progress

A few hundred year old monuments get taken down and we celebrate… yet the systems, the people and mindset that allowed those monuments to remain in place as a constant reminder of what this nation was built on and the oppressed position we were supposed to stay in; continue to teach our children, patrol our communities, sentence our youth, and block or pass legislation that directly effects US.

Remove the robes from a clansman and he’s still a clansman! I say keep the monuments and instead get rid of the systems and people that maintain what those monuments stand for… because we know that latter will not be done as long as we are distracted by the optics of the former.

– Sincere Born Allah, #1131459, Nottoway Correctional Center

Criminal

To be a criminal is not soley a matter of self determination, no more than being homeless is. It is accompanied with a lack of social responsibility as well. Almost no one randomly wakes up and says “I just want to commit crimes for a living.” No.

Illegal acts are social dilemmas, mostly committed in states of distress, where individuals are seeking immediate relief from very present, very persistent problems. In this search, they make grave mistakes, sometimes harming others… inconsiderate of others, because of the apparent lack of consideration for them by others. The pressures and problems they face are less likely of their own making. Crime on a large scale is a societal problem that plagues the impoverished. A problem few of our leaders see fit to impute upon the victims or simply ignore.

Where the jurisdiction of social responsibility ends, the choice of an individual to select a destiny of their choosing must take precedence. The identity of a criminal must be shed, because a criminal is not what you are just because a crime is what you’ve committed. In opposition, society’s inclination to be “tough on crime” and continue to demonize those who (for the most part) are victims of society’s failures, does not allow for such realization. Truth is, society has had a great hand in trapping millions of people into the role of the “criminal.” Showing them that their lives are less and beyond redemption; that their existence does not amount above the mistakes they have made.

The abolishment of parole and the reluctance to restore it, along with the restriction of earned sentence credits disregards the practice of incentive as a means of enforcing ethical behavior. In fact, it enforces the idea that no matter your behavior, your lot in life is unchangeable, breeding despair and further instilling the persona of the criminal.

To be a criminal is not a crime, it is merely a product of an imperfect society, but to remain one is. To assume that this problem is definite is a grave injustice that stands to keep destroying countless lives and stagnating the evolution of society as a whole…

– Q . Patterson, Brilliance Behind Bars Creator, #1392272

Thought

“Without a foe a soldier never knows his strength, and thought must be developed by the exercise of strength.” by Prophet Noble Drew Ali, born Timothy Drew, the founder of the first Islamic sect to ever appear in North America. The Moorish Science Temple of America 1913 a.d.

Man has the power or ability to either make or damage his future. Noble Drew Ali brought official Moorish literature for his people, which he said had a saving power. The instructions he brought is likened to tools and the mind is the workshop where the tools are being used to build character and to shape our conduct.

Today, we are faced with many foes. We are fighting against social and racial injustice, a covid-19 pandemic that has claimed approximately 500,000 lives, and an opioid overdose epidemic that has claimed live’s all over the world. These foes have to be conquered through thought activity. Noble Drew Ali said: if I can get you Moors to think, you can save yourself. The brain is a muscle and in order to strengthen that muscle, it has to constantly be exercised. Knowledge is gained from experience, and experience is what gives you the mental fortitude to be able to learn from those experiences and become a better person. After all is said and done, this experience will strengthen your will and will prepare you to stand firm in the face of future adversity. Thought is the cause of it all. As above so below, we create our own circumstances and conditions through thought, we create our own heaven and hell. How you respond in the face of adversity determines whether or not you will grow from that experience. A lesson is to be learned from every situation whether good or bad. A fool is content in his folly but out of the bad a wiseman find means of good.

My name is Antoinne Pitt and I’m from Portsmouth, VA. I am a rapper, singer, songwriter and the author of Thinking With A Purpose and C.O.A.T (Countering Overdoses and Addiction Treatment). You can log on to www.infinitypublicationsllc.net and click on ‘author’ to see my bio. You can also sign my change.org petition as well check out my interview on Real Prison Talk Facebook live page and ‘From Prison To Promise’ podcast. Super School Heroes children’s book trilogy will be out in the near future. In closing, true freedom is reached only when the mind is freed of all mental restraints.

Peace and Blessings,

-Antoinne Pitt, Portsmouth, VA

Pain

“Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses our self understanding”
-Kahlil Gibran

Holy scriptures tell us that suffering is ordained… so the context of this quote isn’t just physical.

Pain is nature’s character builder. For anyone that has ever broken a bone, we learn a very valuable lesson about our physical limitations and how to better respect that limit. We also learn that as a result of that break, our bone grows back stronger. The same goes for mental and emotional anguish… Human history teaches us we all have the power and ability to adapt and overcome… How well we do either of those things depends on the strength of our individual will…

Pain essentially peels back our layers and exposes us to ourselves so that we can better understand ourselves.

– Sincere B. Allah

Change Is Here

HEAVY, that’s what this obtains, heavy thoughts to provoke the brain to go beyond it’s regular (limited) capacity of thinking that a change is gonna come. Whether or not you’re aware, change is here. Not without a united front standing strong tother & putting forth the necessary work to promote positive change. Even then, them haters will still hate. It’s in their D.N.A. (genetic makeup).

The first ever to possess racist views is Shaytan (Ibliss, Satan, Lucifer, etc.) He was under his own impression, that because he was created from a smokeless flame, and that we (human beings) are created from alternating mud, gives him president over us. But when corrected by the Creator of all that exists, that we are more deserving, he begin his hate campaign, and since that time until the last day on earth, he continuously pushes his hate for us. Even in the hearts of our own kind does this hate lies. So see, hate is nothing more than a enemy to your own being, whether you realize it or not, before its to late to repent for past actions or views taken.

Ask yourself this question: if real space aliens were to invade our planet & attempt to erase our way of living – erase us – I’d give a arm & leg that all racist views of each other would become nonexistent, and we would join together on a united front to fight & protect our existence. There would be no white, black, yellow, or brown. The only color that would be, would be the humanity color of all human beings. Working together for a common purpose: to live. U.S.A. (United States of America), if we’re not going to stand for what this great land of ours is suppose to represent, then they might as well change its name. There’s a reason why GOD created all men equal (regardless of the different shades, shapes, and sizes).

Racism needs to be stamped out completely, we’ve come too far for this sh#t, and it’s long overdue. There must be equality, plus justice for all, or none at all. That’s my take on such. Peace y’all, from a captive still stuck in the beast. Real Talk!!

-D. Moyler, Contributing Writer | Virginia #1119539

Man // Foundations

By Brandon Hope

Black man, white man, who am I man?
Oppressor or victim to oppression?

I am human, you can not second guess it –
but that tends to go in one ear and out the other.
The less that I’ve chosen one race over the other,
the deeper I dove in to the bi-racial struggle.

Confusion that’s when they can’t tell what’s my color.
Deception accusations when they can’t tell what’s my color.

Abusive repercussions cause I’m not quite my mother,
Abusive repercussions cause I’m not quite my father,
Abusive repercussions cause they don’t know what I am,
Abusive repercussions when I’m merely just a MAN.

My experience with racism is very different from most, being that I am a bi-racial man that comes from a bi-racial household. For one, my grandparents on both sides of my family are very bias towards the other race, so that was an interesting and painful experience growing up, never feeling accepted in my own home amongst my own family. Then, I got the same type of experience at school and in my neighborhood. So on top of the systemic racism that we are all faced within our neighborhoods, (the ghetto) and in our schools, I was dealing with it from my family and peers.

Now, I believe that racism can be fixed…. but only with hard work and time, because racism is inbred within the system (when I say the system, I am speaking of the American government).

Now, picture the system as a structure like a building. If the system was a building, then the issue that needs to be fixed is deep within the concrete structure, so the only option when there is a structural problem, is to build a new foundation. But to build a new foundation, we must first tear down the building; and the new building can’t be built upon another corrupt foundation. There must be no flaws, or we will have to tear it down again. There should be no hatred in the foundation, nor bias of any kind. We must find a way to utilize love, or at the very least empathy, and build our foundation amongst it.

The answer to racism is the most common and simple phrase you hear growing up – but it is also the most complicated – because America as a whole has still failed to master it. All we have to do is, TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!!! Think about it.

– Brandon C. L. Hope, From Hampton, VA

Oppression

“Freedom is never given voluntarily by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” -MLK

The origin of oppression has always eluded me… why does the oppressor oppress? Why does the oppressed accept the circumstances enforced by the oppressor?

As opposed to a condition of nature – for animals do not share in unoriented oppression beyond survival – I feel as if oppression (the deliberate and willful use of power to deject the progress of an individual or group of persons) is a common condition of human folly. A compensatory action of fearful emotions. The oppressors fear the image of their own perceived inadequacy – and to reinstate to themselves a perception of strength, they choose already disadvantaged victims to afflict upon, reinforcing an illusionary form of power. This process is not only fallacious for the oppressor, it is just as so for the oppressed.

When oppression is prevalent, it is so because the oppressed subscribe to a fallacy. That fallacy is one that promotes a dominance held by one over another. This allows the oppressed to accept what they believe to be a matter of fate rather than one of self determination. Forfeiture of will, the core of the human spirit immobilizes the oppressed and empowers the oppressor… oppression germinates in fear and thrives in despair.

In the past it took the form of physical slavery. Now, it has a more subtle body. Distrust in political processes, or a form of systemic slavery. The oppressed today in America are the dejected men and women who disregard political activism as a means of bettering the state and quality of their lives. The oppressor will not willingly give up even a grand figment of power for a minuet reality of powerlessness. It goes against the very nature that breeds it. But the oppressed have a choice… a choice to grab hold of self-determination and free themselves from the illusion of powerlessness.

But this is a CHOICE, unprovoked by the oppressor, that must be decided for one’s self…

– Quadaire Patterson, VADOC #1392272, From Virginia Beach, VA

Revolution

“You can jail the revolutionary, but you can’t jail the revolution.” – Huey P. Newton

It’s a scientific fact that energy cannot be destroyed. It only transfers or transforms… Pertaining to the quote above, the body of a revolutionary can be contained, but the spirit of the revolution can not be bound.

Today, the spirit of the revolution is as pervasive as ever. While countless bodies are confined to prisons, the spirit of freedom is leading the movement against mass incarceration in the land of the free. In this sense, the flames of the revolution are only stoked as more bodies of men and women find themselves on the darker side of social disparity.

The revolutionary of ‘then’ are the freedom fighters of now. Prevalent and pervasive the spirit of the revolution is uncaged. Now, more of the American people are imbued with this spirit, and the revolution has taken on a form better fit for a nation centered on the virtue of freedom. Long live the revolution… long live freedom.

– Quadaire Patterson, VADOC #1392272, From Virginia Beach, VA