updated 1:38 PM UTC, Jan 24, 2013
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Tony Shaheed Elliott

Tony Shaheed Elliott

Muhammad Ali, A Black Prince In Shining Armor

muhammad_ali_versus_sonny_liston1I saw a god! The first time I saw Muhammad Ali I was awestruck. I was about seven or eight, but even then I was keenly aware of racial injustice to blacks by whites in America. I watched on television as police dogs in the south were set upon innocent black people. Meanwhile, I'd hear of some unarmed black kid who was shot and killed by some white cop every other month.

From what I could tell from watching Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X on the television white folks, in general, didn't like us at all. I also had a perception of black men as impotent when confronted with the white male. Muhammad Ali broke that mold and I have loved him ever since. It was everything about him, the way he unitimidly spoke his mind as the white

Street Persuasion 3

moneyI hadn't seen Dee or Dakim in about two weeks even though Dee had said to me that he was going out of town for only a few days. I got into the routine of going to college and it was nice. The thousand dollars I'd gotten from Dee came in handy, too. I bought some fresh gear, took a few chicks to some nice restaurants and such. I was still unclear exactly what the money was for or where it really came from or even about that day. I vaguely remembered throwing a gun over the bridge after Dee had given me the money after he and Dakim had gone into the building in Harlem.

 

"Yo, Jamel! Lemme holla at you a sec," Ice G called to me as I sat on a park bench by the basketball courts in my projects talking to Lisa. Lisa was Dee's little sister but she really wasn't so little anymore. Lisa was fourteen when I went upstate and a regular cute little

Street Persuasion Part 2

moneyWe took the Verrazano Bridge to the FDR drive on our way to Harlem. The angel dust that Dee and Dakim had introduced me to earlier was having a weird effect on my mind. It was like a new universe had been opened. A strange new reality that I kind of liked.  Of course I didn't know then how dangerous angel dust, PCP, was and how so many people had and would die because of it, but I knew I felt a sense of power surging through my veins, and a new consciousness before unknown to me.  If Dee was smoking dust, I figured it was cool. It wasn't like we was using regular dope, like coke or heroin, I told myself.  (continued from Street Persuasions, Part One).

"Yo, Jamel. I had Dakim dying laughing when I told him about Arty, upstate. Tell him, Jamel, Dee said excitedly. Dee and I shared the retelling of the story: Arty was this dude upstate with us at El Mira and Otisville, when we first got sent up. We were all cool with each other. But one day Arty decided to test me while he, Dee and myself were on the line for chow. I don't remember what it was about, but Arty and I had a few words with each other when he said, "Man, I'll bust your skinny a*#!"  Arty had a little weight on him from lifting weights and his arms were kinda swole. So, I guess he thought that it meant something.

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.

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