Keeping it real: Keeping it real is a phrase which is often used callously in our daily discourses. However, the concept underlying the concept of keeping it real is one enormous gravity, indeed, keeping it real requires one to accept and deal with the truth wherever truth may lead us. In keeping real, we are precluded from embracing fantasy, idealism, and illusion. As I sit here reflecting over the past year, I would like to share my musing on [crucial?] it is to keep it real in unnatural environment called state penitentiary. In penitentiary, everyone established a routine to help them cope with the overwhelming deprivation we must endure each passing years. Some lost souls engage in strict physical fitness regimens. Some embrace religion expression as a means of coping with prison life. Still others use this penitentiary time to acquire the education and skills which heretofore held no importance to them. On the other hand, far too many black men become involved in street corner or neighborhood gangs, clique, and prison vices. Including gambling, drugs, and alcohol abuse, homosexuality etc.
Paradoxically, many black prisoners across section of virtue and vices as past of their prison routine. Institution setting and shifting values, loyalties, and relationships. In order to truly survive prison, it is important that one consciously guards against becoming institutionalized. This is exigent because one who become institutionalized allow his values, principles, and beliefs to be shaped by the institution (in prison). Thus, when you emerge from prison, it is not you at all. Over exposure to a cold, manipulative, and depraved environment can mold you into an essentially different person moreover, this over exposure accentuates our worst qualities.
Minister Khalil Shabazz Muhammad
Mr. Dewayne Lee Harris #[ID]
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