I Served My Time But I Will Never Be Free

Steel doors crashed shut behind me as I stepped outside onto the curb. Sunshine splashed down onto the back of my neck. In less than 2 months, I had lost 20 pounds, grown a full head of hair again, and gained a new appreciation for the virtues of solitude. When you’re a “violent offender,” after all, 20 hours a day in a cell is the standard, not the exception. The


In Defense Of “Thugs”

I was sixteen the first time a police officer pointed a loaded gun at me. I’m lucky to be alive. But while blaming police officers for all of the problems I encountered growing up would certainly be convenient, the truth is I had already had at least a half-dozen guns pulled on me long before I was sixteen, none of which were by police officers. It’s an ugly truth. When

Perspective Is Everything in the 21st Century

If you’re reading this, I’m thrilled. My email must have made it through to the editor. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to expect considering I sent it from a new phone that beeps and buzzes at me more than the hideous little robot with the swiveling head on Star Wars. I think his name was Joy Behar. You see, despite being a millennial, I’ve largely been dragged into the 21st century


The Social Significance of ‘Lowriders’

The airbrushed murals. The candy paint. The warm breeze that slaps you across the face when the hydraulic pump springs you high into the heavens, all as curious onlookers gather on the corner to point and admire. Yes, nothing beats the excitement and attention you get when bouncing up and down the crowded boulevard in a swooped up lowrider. I know this, of course, because I’ve owned my fair share