Uhuru in his own words

I am an incarcerated New Afrikan Black male, 40, 5’7″, 175lbs, brown eyes, non-smoker, no kids, vegetarian, athletic, anti-sexist, spontaneous, intelligent, socially-conscious, revolutionary-minded, internationalist, easy to communicate with, mentally and emotionally disciplined, and maintains a positive, optimistic attitude when when faced with the many struggles of life.

I have been incarcerated here in the Commonwealth of Virginia since January of 1995. Prior to my imprisonment, I was living in the city of Richmond, Virginia, where I was born and raised on the south side. I am the youngest out of three brothers and three sisters and the son of a deceased father. My mother is the greatest love of my life and one my biggest supporters.

My path to prison began when I started using and abusing drugs and alcohol and when I dropped out of a failed public school system in the 9th grade.

Thus, began my path down the school-to-prison pipeline and the beginning of a life of crime in a city which was then labeled the murder capital of the entire U.S. Had I not come to prison at the age if 18, I most certainly would’ve been the victim of a homicide.

And once I entered prison, I immediately began the arduous task of transforming my antisocial, criminal mentality into a forward-thinking, revolutionary mentality so that when I am finally released from this concrete jungle, I will be a positive and powerful force and influence among the disenchanted and disadvantaged youth of my family and in my community.

I started this blog because it’s a good way for me to keep my thoughts ordered and balanced, to sort out and deal with my complex feelings and emotions, to help me process and heal from the tragic events I’ve experienced in life, while sharing my thoughts with others in the so-called “free” world who may not ordinarily be exposed to the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of an incarcerated person.

Prison is an extremely harsh and isolated place where incarcerated people often feel profoundly alone, neglected, abandoned and forgotten. So, this blog will also allow me the opportunity to expose to the world the harsh, degrading, and dehumanizing conditions of prison life while at the same time touching, impacting, and inspiring real people in a real way, especially those who may be facing comparable challenges in life.

As you will see below, though incarcerated, I am a human being with real likes and desires like you:

I enjoy blogging, writing letters, poetry and essays, creating zines, reading nonfiction, meditating, activism, intelligent conversation, being with family and friends during visitation, organizing, opposing oppression of all kinds, listening to conscious Hip Hop and old school R&B, exercising, and helping others.

My favorite color is red.

My favorite movies are Black August, 12 Years A Slave, Inception, American Beauty, Fargo, Book of Eli, and the Matrix Trilogy.

My favorite t.v. shows areThe Walking Dead, Empire, Scandal, Law&Order:SVU, 2 Broke Girls, and The Big Bang Theory.

My favorite books are Huey: Spirit of the Panther by David Hilliard, The Black Panthers Speak by Philip S. Foner, and Animal Farm by George Orwell.

My favorite quote is, “If you believe then you can achieve….,” by Tupac Amaru Shakur A.K.A. 2Pac

— Uhuru Rowe, July 12th, 2016

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