A.J. Responds [The l.e.t. project]

“Hey Eddie,

I received the books you sent to me. I want to say thank you very much it is appreciated. Eddie I have poem I want to share. (It is called (wasted)


with the sense of urgency, you look at us troubled criminals and you grieve our lost of life is far worst than you thought. Believed, or ever conceived see beyond our crimes, pass the fear we create–

you see the lost overflowing, slowly turning our minds to (waste)

we are incarcerated wallpaper that quickly fades and wastes away

and the numbers continue to grow at a unprecedented rate-

we lack the needed belief in ourselves and the desire to educate our minds

lost the will to advanced

helpless and so far behind

but violence has forced society to lock us “away” at any cost

soon all of us will pay because each one of us is lost


This poem is not copyrighted, however,  I just want to be heard.

Another thing I am wondering do you have any information on prop 57, or can you help me figure out what the prop is about

Thank you. will write again soon. with respect”

– A.J.




L.E.T. Project “A.J”

 So I sent AJ some books. The first book is a dictionary, because it is literally like a translator in jail. It helps expand his diction. The second book I sent was Tupac ‘the rose that grew from concrete’ in hopes that he could be inspired by some of Tupac’s poetry. AJ says he likes poetry, and I think this would be the book he would read first. The third book I’ve sent him was ‘Man’s search for meaning’ by Viktor Frankl. You guys will automatically see me send this book to almost every inmate. This was a man who survived concentration camp under Nazi rule. Incredibly heartfelt book, it shows the power of a positive mindset under any circumstance. This book is hands down the greatest book for any one facing a difficult time. I can’t wait until I hear his take on the book(s).



“What have you done?”[for the Black Community] Solution #1

This is a question that many people within the Black community ask our leaders. The problem that some of us Black folk have, is that we expect an overnight turn around when it comes to the problems that plague our community. No politician or said “leader” will make any change that will completely mitigate the issues we have. The onus has unfortunately been placed on our athletes and billionaires, because they hold a high amount of capital that many Blacks beneath them don’t have. For this favored group, many of us will argue about what one has done for our community. The question that always gets tossed around whenever we get mad at each other is ultimately “What have you done for the Black community?”


Solution #1: Education

When I say education, I don’t solely mean schools. I am talking about self-improvement by all means. Challenging yourself to read daily about something that may enhance your life or give you a different perspective. Despite being a trash truck driver working 12-14 hours a day, I read as much as I possibly can. There are audiobooks that you can listen to if you are busy at work all day or traveling to school via public transportation. E-books are really awesome to me, because you can highlight important parts of the book and visual reading has a way of gluing information to your brain. Even if you could on focus on one book a month, that is way better than none. Reading exercises the brain, and gives you more context of the subject matter you choose to study. By improving your mind, you inadvertently improve your vocabulary in conversations without even recognizing it. I have denounced religion because of books, and figured out who I truly was as a man by reading. For you, it may bring you closer to your spiritual deity. The more that your mind improves, it improves the family members that interact with you on a daily basis.

Without proper knowledge, you will be bamboozled by politicians, outwitted by sleazy salesmen, and jumping into situations without proper perspective. Back in slavery we had laws that prohibited slaves from reading. Couple centuries down the line, and you have a lot of brothers and sistas who refuse to pick up a book other than Steve Harvey’s dating book, or something trivial. In order to improve education for our children, we have to improve our own personal education. You don’t have to enroll at your local city college (which I recommend you doing, if you have the time and ambition to do) to get education. You can get free books at a library with a library card. I don’t care if you have a grown son/daughter living with you, or a toddler, reading should be essential in your house if you are black. It’s never too late to learn something new. We as blacks have been told that if you go to college, then everything will be awesome. Statistics are coming out that degrees don’t equal jobs. Go to school if you are pursuing a passion that will yield a positive return of investment. We live in an economy where you have Ph.D students working as baristas, and journalism majors struggling to make it in the industries they were amorous about. College is not for every kid, some kids are smart, but would be more useful inside of a trade school to apply that genius to a technical skill. I want my child to go to college like the next person, but I have my reservations on forcing my child to pick a college major to impress my friends/family. I would rather my child find a passion and pursue it. No degree will let me compromise my child’s future over selfish ambition. To read further on this topic, check out this book by Will Bennett:



To advance within the dominant society, we need proper guidance into how economics work. If you have no basic understanding of economics and how money works, you will be misled by many assumptions without concrete evidence. I want reparations for slavery on behalf of my  African ancestors, but if im spending that money on European luxury instead of black businesses, what is the point.  One of the best books I have read on economics that breaks down complex economics in layman terms, check out this book:




You as a Black person should know the basic fundamentals of money. You don’t have to sign up for some expensive course online.  I found a book written by Jason Kelly at my local library, it was the world’s simplest book on finance tips. You can even find this book on eBay for dirt cheap as a used book.



If you only read these two books and nothing else, these two books will lead you in the right direction in current time.

As far as history goes, it is up to you what you wish to read. The greatest black person to ever live, in my honest opinion, can be no one other than Harriet Tubman. She put it down so hard for black people back in the day, she even was rumored to carry a pistol. Treason was not going to be an option if you rolled with “Minty”. I have read my history, therefore my child will be schooled on history, and how it repeats itself in different forms. Read Malcolm X in his prime, and the relevance of an old Harlem speech will send chills down your spine. It is almost like you are conjuring dead spirits that speak directly to you. You will see the contrast of groups led by Martin Luther King Jr., compared with today’s so called leaders.


Last but not least, we have to be more accountable for family members or friends that are incarcerated. We need to send them letters of encouragement, commissary money on birthdays and holidays. I know you may say that “If you did the crime, you do the time”, but it is far too many Black men in the system for us to turn our backs on them. I would suggest finding the prison wherever the family member or friend is located and research programs that they could sign up for. There ARE accredited programs that are financed by the state that inmates could participate in, depending on where you live and the facility where the inmate is detained, where many of them don’t know about the programs to be taken advantage of. A lot of the programs are trades. Print out this information and mail it to the inmate to let them know what their detention center offers. I have a cousin that I mailed over 20 books to. Books about business and fitness, magazine subscriptions, how to start a small business and write a business plan. So that way, when he/she gets out of prison, he knows how to write a business plan for the trade he/she learned behind bars. The reason it is important to provide facts on the obstacles facing him/her, is to cut down on jail recidivism. I let my relative know the obstacles facing him and send books about former convicts who found a way out of the system. If you can’t stand writing to a person, than at least send a book, or print an article. You never know what impact it may have.

If you feel that there is someone that you know may benefit from this post, please share on all social media platforms available. Feel free to drop comments below and give insight. We need to spread the word. 

Depression and Anxiety struggles no one understands

Inexplicable mood swings

One of the problems that people with depression deal with is random mood swings. One morning, you may wake up and feel like are going to deal with a challenging day but can deal with it. Other days you will wake up and feel like the apocalypse is beckoning you to come outside. It will be a struggle to deal with the most trivial matters, and no one will understand why you seem “out of it”. It will be days when you are loquacious and clear minded, and other days when you will be completely anti-social and introverted.

Triggers and cues

You are sitting down watching the nightly news, and hear the death announcement of a childhood TV personality you idolized. You recognize that the celebrity is close in age to your parents and you start to immerse your thoughts into mortality and death. The death of your parents starts haunting you, because you are in constant fear of them passing away. The TV news program was a trigger to ignite your anxiety disorder and place you into fear. Adults are extensions of our younger selves. So, the phobias we never get over become stuck inside our mind. It is the reason why that JaRule and Ashanti track that happened to come on your Pandora stream made you think of the high school sweetheart that broke your heart. Or the smell of that clearance bottle of J-Lo perfume at Burlington Coat Factory, takes you back to a bad date you had in 2006. A person with anxiety will become sensitized,  to any fear causing trigger that most people wouldn’t recognize.

Overeating or Lack of appetite

Depression can drag your stomach size way down, or make your waistline explode. Most people don’t think of food as a drug. It is a running punchline for people who are overweight that they are eating their emotions, but it is true. Fat, salt, sugar are three of the most emotional sensations of pleasure to the human mind.  Sugar is akin to cocaine, setting off the same receptors of dopamine in the brain. Food companies know it, so they add sugar and corn syrup to boost sales. A person may not have the money to buy a Lamborghini and a mansion. But he or she will most certainly have enough money to go through a drive-thru to get some fast food. The stresses of life can seem like they disappear when you are eating a pint of ice cream. On the other end of the spectrum, life can be so down and out that you find no enjoyment in anything. Eating is not something you feel that you have to do to live. If you eat something for the day, cool. If not, no problem. You can barely remember the last time you ate something, because life is just…whatever. When food is offered, you respectfully decline and move on with your day.

Suppressed Emotions

You want to reach out and get help. You want to talk to a professional or good friend to purge your emotions. The issue is that EVERYONE has problems. Your problems are no better than his or hers in the bystander’s mind. “Someone out there has it way worst than you and me, my friend!!” one acquaintance may surmise. “Why don’t you just snap out of it?” another friend may say. In their mind, you are a person who can overcome these thoughts with some Tony Robbins affirmations. If you are a man, you are supposed to be this log-chopping, car mechanic, motorcycle riding, stereotypical brute who can tough any issue out like a REAL man. What usually follows is some nostalgic story of the obnoxious friend or acquaintance’s father or grandfather, who were “REAL MEN”. They dealt with REAL issues like the depression and post-war. Not this pansy “new-age” Millenial bullshit. If you are a woman, the acquaintance may take the news like its a competition of “who has it worse?” She probably will commence to talk about her divorced friend who has 3 children and is successful now, and she had it way worse than you. You should be anything but depressed because you have NO REASON TO BE. So there you are, privately offended at the impudence of the friend or relative you decided to share it with. Stuck with the recommendation of a Tony Robbins, or Joel Osteen book, you sit there and wallow in self pity. “No one cares to hear about my problems”, you conclude.

The voice in your head

This voice is the worst son of a gun that you wish never existed. He has been with you ever since the bullies teased you in grade school. He was the asshole that prevented you from talking to girls and making friends. He talks very loud and disrespectful when you stand in front of a mirror, slandering your reason to exist, and pointing at every flaw not edible for American culture. He or she is the reason you will never start a business and be successful, because you are the worst example of a breathing creature. Most people can hear the voice and ignore it. Other folks hear it and use it to make improvements. The fourth group, is the most irritating of all, they imagine there is no such voice within them and they (allegedly) kick its ass every time it comes near. This is a voice you will most likely never get rid of and will have to accept for most of your life, until you can finally get the help you need.