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Street Persuasion : Part 1

999975_know_hope_1I'm twenty one and I just got out of prison two weeks ago after doing three years for burglary. I got into Brooklyn College, thanks to student loans and grants I received. I still hang out sometime with my homeboy Dee, who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. Although Dee and I are both from Stapleton (he lives one floor below me) we were never really cool until we ran into each other on Rikers Island and in prison too. I saw Dee knock dudes out up there and he knew about of the fights I had.

One was against this muscled weight lifting dude who had it out for me from the first day I walked into the cell block.

I barely made it through that fight without getting stomped. Both times muscle boy lifted and threw me to the ground. I bounced up quickly, and how I wasn't hurt still amazes me. I decided to end that fight by grabbing a nearby metal chair and crashing it on muscle boy's head, which almost got me jumped by his four homeys. This smooth cat from Harlem named Champagne stepped in just in time and they backed up off of me. Thanks to Dee being cool with Champagne.


I just got off the bus after my second day of college and as I walked toward my building a fancy, rimmed-out Beamer pulls beside and rolls at pace with me. I'm not nervous because I haven't been out long enough to make any enemies, but I'm on guard anyway. The drivers' side window lowers and this dude I've never seen before with a gold front and a Kangol cap is looking at me, smiling. I don't smile back, though. Then the back window lowers and I see Dee in the back seat, "Yo, Jamel!", he calls. "Come here a sec". I smile when I see Dee. (He got out eight months before me.) "Yo, Dee! Was sup?" I exclaim.

"Yo, Jamel. This is Dakim. He cool. Get in. We goin' Uptown," Dee says.

"I gotta bring my books upstairs first," I say, "They're expensive!"

"Come on, Jamel. Just bring 'em. Sit up front with Dakim."

I relent and get in the front seat, after this fine Puerto Rican girl sitting there opens the door and gets out. She walks around the car with my eyes stuck to her magnificent features. She bends over to give Dakim some tongue before walking away, smiling slyly as if she knew she had my complete attention.

"Wassup, Jamel? Dee told me about you. How y'all was upstate and everything," Black began.

I swiveled my neck back around to hear what he is saying.

"Dee say you didn't take no crap from anyone upstate."

"Was sup," I respond succinctly. "When we comin' back, Dee?" I asked. "I gotta get up early for school tomorrow." 

"Dee told me you was smart, too, Jamel", Dakim says, ignoring my question.

"Yo Dakim! Jamel was always reading when we was up there. I could hardly get him to come to the yard. Malcolm X and all that stuff," Dee says proudly about me, his homeboy.

Dee lights up a joint, takes a puff and hands it to Dakim, who takes a bigger puff and exhales the car full of smoke. It smells funny. Dakim hands me the joint and I look at it funny before looking to Dee. "It's cool, Jamel", he assures me.

I trust Dee. We went through a lot together upstate, so I took a drag. It tastes real funny and I guess my face face shows it because the two of them bust out laughing. I look at Dee oddly and he says, "It's dust Jamel, Angel dust!"

I had never heard of it before. I take another hit and hand it to Dee. We pull off on our way Uptown for what, I don't even know. As we approach the Verrazano bridge I don't notice the two unmarked police cars that are following us.  

End Of Part 1

By: Tony Shaheed Elliot

Last modified onFriday, 14 May 2010 17:01

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