Prison to POWER Series: "The Hood"

"There was a time that we chased our dreams, but now we chase nightmares..."

Written by: Saliah 

"The HOOD" is an alias for Neighborhood that so many men and women are glad to say they're from . With ignorance we unconsciously fall into a trap thats consistent in the destruction of our own people. We hear the same old anthem, "I Love My Hood!" Is that right? So tell me, how many kids has your hood sent to college? Before you answer think about this. The young man or woman you are thinking about probably went to college on his/her own efforts. If the hood had anything to do with it, he/she would have been scouted for the criminal justice system, with the police being the recruiters. Bragging about being from this or that ood has destroyed the inner city, and what we deem as communities. Our loved ones are leaving school, football fields, and basketball courts. This leaves our children deceived and not aware of what's going on around them. 

How many of our Fathers, Brothers, and Sons across America have been railroaded because they could not read an indictment? How many jobs did the hood give single mothers? How many kids did the hood walk to school?There is a misconception that being from the hood, as we call i; is one of life's greatest achievements.  There was a time that we use to chase our dreams, but now we chase nightmares. You may have grew up in a neighborhood around the way, but that hood does not define you. YOU define who you are. None of us should look a anyone and immediately associate them with a hood. When I look at you I see a mother, a father, a hard worker and a graduate. I would like to know when we as a community will be able to break those invisible chains that keep us in the hood that many have claimed to be from. Personally, the hood has never done anything but hold myself and many others back!

Now lets talk ask ourselves this, how many of our kids fell victim to hood gangs, drugs, and funerals? our so called hoos have left countless mothers crying and everybody swearing on their child's name. A distinguishing feature used to separate us from each other. Confined in these hoods full of oppression, drugs, and disrespect. Is that suppose to be cool? We hurt ourselves and those around us. So many of us think this is what life is about and use the common sayings like, "I'm about that mess", "I'm real", or "im Hood"! REALLY!? Do you know that little Bobby hear ALL of THIS? With these sill cliches we willingly box ourselves in and limit our chances to grow. All the "word to L's, O's, Face's, and Dem's will not help us achieve success within our own lives and community. You love your hood, but guess what? The hood will never love you back! If you do not believe me then ask around. Ask the brothers that are doing life sentences in Attica, Clinton, or Comstock. They though the hood loved them too.

My Brothers and Sisters, it's time to make a change for the better NOW! Together we can do it and stop the madness going on in our communities. I guess your asking yourself, "What can I do now?" 

Step 1: Listen to this message from Prison to Power series and support positive movements such as Cuse Culture, then together we will take it from there. Your in good hands. 

As Salamu Alaikum,