Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Black Survival Guide

From US Prison Culture:In 1963, while protesting for school desegration, he was arrested, charged with disorderly conduct & jailed. He wrote about his experiences in Chicago’s Cook County House of Correction in JET MAGAZINE in 1963. Below are his words:"

"How does it feel to see a real, big-time gangster this close up? You wanna know why I stayed in jail for something I believe in very much. I couldn’t march against segregation in Alabama and Mississippi without protesting it here. I was arrested on disorderly conduct charges because I joined hundreds of Negro parents demonstrating against those mobile units being placed all over the South Side in order to keep the city’s schools Jim Crow. The parents call them Willis Wagons because they are Supt. Benjamin Willis’ personal methods of hauling little colored folks all over the city’s Jim Crow ghetto to keep them from the white kids..."

"...Most prisoners are assigned to work details. The officials say race has nothing to do with it. You are assigned on the basis of your training and background and ability. It is all equal. Just like outside. You know what that means.

“I’m gonna write a book exposing this place when I get out. I’ll have a title something like The House of Corruption, That Needs Correction. It has been a real eye opener to be a prisoner and what I’ve seen will fill a book.

“I’ve seen dozens of examples of the greatest injustices of all…guys who wouldn’t even be here except they didn’t get adequate legal help during their trials. And sometimes they have to wait in the House of Correction 30 days to six months to get messed up. A lot of prisoners I’ve talked to complain of this. Most of them leave filled with bitterness and less able to face society then when they were jailed. If this can happen to me and I can afford to pay for legal help, what happens to the millions of poor souls. Guess there is some truth to the axiom ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied.’

“Then I learned about the guys who run this place. It’s a hard cold fact that Negroes with top seniority are passed over for advancement in preference for some white guy. I thought I was fighting racial prejudice and corruption on the outside, but that was nothing compared to in here."

Comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory launches Kickstarter campaign to fight mass incarceration. Dick Gregory stars in the documentary The Black Survival Guide.


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