by Rashad Mabu
After 12 years I have finally made it to a halfway house. It is a blessing yet still a continuous struggle with the system because, as my dear bro Eugene Thomas says, they harass you more since they resent your ability to exercise certain forms of freedom.
I arrived in mid-November to Valdosta Transition Center, a facility at almost the southernmost point of Georgia. Immediately I was classified and sat before a board to be questioned about my alleged participation in the Black Panther Party and my fascination with George Jackson, based on information placed in my file in early 2000 when I was housed at the close-security prison down the street from here. This was done to validate me as a Security Threat Group (STG) member.
My charge of voluntary manslaughter did not help things either. I thought maybe the all-Euro board might have me sent back to prison the way they eyed me up and down.
The employment manager explained he had a deep concern regarding my “gang history” and my charge so he might have to observe me for a while before he would allow me to get a job. Truth is I have never committed a gang-related incident in prison. I have, however, effectively defended myself against any attackers who may have sought to make a name for themselves regardless of their affiliation.
Furthermore, I haven’t been found guilty of a disciplinary report in over five years. In reality, what it boils down to is that Euros are horrified by names such as Black Panther and George Jackson – or anything pro-Black for that matter.
I’m happy to say I survived their 30-day probationary period and look forward to being employed soon. My mission is to become a success story by giving recidivism a black eye and preventing these younger brothers from contributing to genocide as I once did when I was young and unpoliticized.
I write you, Sis. Mary and Bro. Willie, because through my entire struggle behind the walls, your paper has played a major part in my political and cultural awareness. I could not have done it without you. You guys were the first to ever publish my writing.
The Bay View has been my strength no matter what I was going through in SHU or close confinement. I could look to coverage of Comrade George, Big Tookie Williams, Oscar Grant, Mumia, Sundiata Acoli, Hugo Pinell and Khatari Gaulden, to name a few, and see that my situation was nothing compared to theirs, which helped me continue my fight.
I urge any able-bodied person to support your paper because if all that was not enough reason, I bear witness that anytime Eugene and I have been oppressed by these sadistic uniforms down South, you have aided and assisted us without hesitation. Asante Sana from the bottom of my heart.
Send our brother some love and light: Rashad Price, 1081581, Valdosta Transition Center, 363 Gil Harbin Industrial Blvd, Valdosta GA 31601.