Antoine, 42
Antoine, 42

Meet Antoine…

The first book he gave me was Stolen Legacy. It spoke to the history of Blacks. It energized me. It propelled my eagerness to want to know who I am, who is God, what is my purpose, and how to achieve it.

A guy came to my cell and placed a newspaper between my bars. Neither of us has ever spoken a word to each other. For some reason, I didn’t question it. For the very first time, the articles spoke to me. I felt like I found something that was missing.

He brought another and another until I read all the ones he had. I couldn’t get enough. The pages were God’s love, wisdom, understanding, character, business, health, a buffet of knowledge that had never been presented to me in that way. It was like I was hearing the truth. I was never brought up in a religious or spiritual environment. I don’t think I had ever picked up a Bible, my only notion of God was from my grandmother. The first book he gave me was Stolen Legacy. It spoke to the history of Blacks. It energized me. It propelled my eagerness to want to know who I am, who is God, what is my purpose, and how to achieve it. After every book, the falsehoods and ignorance that engulfed my circumference shed from my being. I saw my existence in a whole different light.

There was a value to who I am, to what I think, the things I say, and consciousness to my behavior. With this new insight, I  began to change both mentally and physically. I spoke about this life to my mother, my son, and my family.

Furthermore, this produced joy no matter my present situation. Not only did my life change, but their lives changed. The shackles of imprisonment were spiritually broken, the physical things that prison has a way of destroying, like bonds with our loved ones, slowly disappeared. After reading so much, I no longer could contain all my knowledge. So one morning I woke up and something said ‘write’. I felt powerful. My creativity flowed effortlessly. Poetry is a daily activity and I have published three books of poetry. Every day I see promise and look to advance my learning in any way possible, simply because my brother now, Azim, passed me a newspaper.