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Letters from Our Family (January 2018)

To my Black & Pink Fam,

How’s my family doing out there? My name is Edward “Sincere”. A Bi Black man locked up in America’s Prison industrial complex in Rhode Island. This is my second time writing.

First let me say that I love Black & Pink and I respect everything ya’ll are doing for our LGBTQ community and all oppressed people. I have a chance of going home probably this year after being warehoused here at the RIDOC for 13 years. About 7 of which were spent in solitary confinement. It’ll be my first time back home Since I came to prison at 17 years old serving 24 years. If I’m lucky to come home this year I look forward to joining the Providence chapter of Black & Pink to fight the wrongs or us all and I look forward to assisting chapters from other states If you need help. I refused to stop until you make change!!!

I received a pen pal from Black & Pink some time ago about two and a half years now. Her name is MJ. that’s a really good person, I love them, they have helped me out so much since we’ve been talking. But they are in the middle of watching something for me on Facebook to start a type of platform for myself. If anyone has access to the internet please check it out. It’s called Red Art. it’s going to have art, limes and essays from myself and close friends from inside. Red Heart stands for Reaching Every Dream and Risings Together. Everything will be based on issues surrounding prison, LGBTQ and just life in general.

Before I forget, I won a lawsuit here. The RIDOC had a ban on some black history books, Muslim newspapers and books, and Black & Pink for some time now. I have won the lawsuit and they had to dismantle this list and I’m now receiving Black & Pink again.

A small note to Kara from Ohio: Hello there I read your letter and I want to help you so bad because I myself thought in law but only know RI law. So you don’t have a lawyer, you really don’t need one. You could do it pro se, i.e. you represent yourself. Unless you rally a few people up in OH to sue wth you, you could do a class action and the courts will be forced to give you a lawyer. But I did find two addresses for you to use to your ability:

ACLU ℅ Jeff Gamso
4506 Chester Avenue
Cleveland, OH, 44103

They help you with legal assistance. Also there’s this place called Ohio Justice and Policy Center that I found for you that also may be of some help if you write them. They educate and assist Ohio prisoners dealing with conditions of confinement. They also litigate on significant prisoner rights issues and run an empowerment program for Ohio prisoner:

Ohio Justice and Policy Center
215 East 9th Street
6th Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45202

I really wish you well on your journey Kara. Cause them hell.

Always,
Sincere (RI)

 

Dear Black & Pink,

Wassup Family? My name is Damon and I’m currently doing time in Ohio. I’ve been receiving the newsletter for about two years and each time it comes I read it cover to cover. When I’m done reading the articles I feel “liberated” but also happy. I feel that way mainly because I am now totally aware that there are many people that feel the way I feel. Like the things I like and see things the way that I see them.

I wrote y’all about two years ago with a letter similar to this one but it never got printed. I still look for it in the newsletters to no avail so I decided to write another letter hoping that this one gets printed. I’m not doing this just to do it either. I’m doing it because I’ve finally found a place where I can be exactly who and what I am without being judged and that place is with y’all. My Black & Pink Family.

I haven’t always had the courage to just be like “yeah, I like men and women,” but as I get older I realize that people are gonna hate us for whatever we do so if I’m going to be hated, I’ma be hated for being exactly who I am and not for who I am pretending to be. Hopefully, these words can and will resonate with someone and inspires them to just do them.

We the LGBTQ community are a beautiful dynamic. Love yourself and be proud of you. I’ll be getting released soon but I plan on staying loyal to Black & Pink. I also wanna give a shout out to Michael Moore from Lima, Ohio. You were the first person to introduce me to this lifestyle and just know that I love you for that and I always will. To the rest of the family, stay strong and keep y’all head up. Don’t let nobody hold you back. Well, I’m out but I hope to see this letter in the pages of Black & Pink.

Love Always Me…
Damon (OH)

 

Dear Black & Pink,

My name is Charles and I’m a 35 year old Puerto Rican and Black Federally incarcerated male. I’ve been down for five years and I’m shocked at homophobia. LGBTQ community has no protection behind these walls. Often they look the other way as inmates from mobs to simply attack the different. It’s ok to be a murderer or thief but god forbid if you love different or express who you are how you want to express yourself.

I’ve heard about your penpal service and felt compelled to join your fight. I received the newsletter and guards began asking about my preference. I asked why does it matter? But I know why, people want a reason to hate. They feel the LGBTQ lifestyle is sinful. I feel the same way about them. The majority isn’t always right. Be happy who you are.

W/R in solidarity,
Charles (MS)

 

Dear Black & Pink,

Hi it’s me Crystal. I am doing 20 years at 75% at Logan CC. I am into girls! This prison sucks. The CO’s just do us anyway they want to. I have seen a good friend of mine die. She hung herself. Her name was Shorty Bang. RIP.

We are just a number here. If you don’t have a support system at home, you’re screwed because state pay is $10 a month. Things are so much here you can’t even get all your personals with that. They don’t give us no help here. People donate us stuff, we don’t get them, the CO’s do. I struggle everyday. I am one of those people who have no support. The women here really don’t have nowhere to turn. We have very few CO’s or teachers looking out for us.

Thanks to everyone. Just remember Logan CC needs a lot of prayers. R.I.P Shorty Bang, We all miss and love you. We’ll see justice soon if not God will judge on Judgment Day.

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