For many the simple act of opening their eyes when they please are things over looked. There are many little luxuries we take for granted and never look back to see if one day we should lose them all. The African American community has been plagued by “regulations” and “laws” that in turn take these amenities away from us. It has been made almost impossible for the people of the African American community to survive without breaking these laws. Once the outside world has seen how they can “clean” up their not so pretty picture a second sweep had to be done to make sure the job is completely done. Men and women alike of the African American community have been devoured by the jails and prisons of the United States. The people of the African American community has been noticeably seen to be sentenced harsher and sent to serve longer sentence terms.
Many would ask why would the people of the African American community take such risks to be taken from a god given right to life? The answer is actually quite simple, the odds, cards, or statistics as you may say has been greatly stacked against the African American community men and women alike. The living standards for the African American man and woman alike are of those not far from the days of slavery. People of the African American community have been pushed into believing what has been given to them is exactly what they deserve. Women especially, we are being made to wear shoes that are not made for us. Throughout the U.S., we see African Americans living in ghettos and in poverty. The burden has fallen heavily upon the shoulders of the heart of the African American Community, the WOMAN.
Women have been forced to create life for our children and families for generations and many have lost the spirit to do so. Women have lost the fire to heat the souls of our future as we have strayed from the core values engrained deep in our very fibers. Just as in the days of our fore fathers and the men of slavery women of today would walk away from life and take the easy way out and live in the jails rather than have life taken away. More than a third of jails and prisons are filled with our sister the African American woman. I myself have spent time in the Fresno County jail and have spoken to many of the women in the facility inmates and correctional officers alike. Many of the stories I have heard sound alike but the core of the situations have all differed in their own ways.
Living in the county jail your days are scheduled with the shifts of its correctional officers. After speaking to the girls of Fresno county jail “S” pod they have allowed me to hear their story and feel the beat of their heart. The most frequent question asked is why would you ever do anything to end up back in jail. If you were to speak to Ms. Thelma Louise Parker she will tell you it is easier to have her kids be raised by people who can really provide for her than to wondering when the next time she will be able to eat dinner. While Ms. Parker was living as a citizen of the rest of the community she lived on the poorest block of what is known as the west side in Fresno. And because she did now have reliable transportation or a grocery store within walking distance she would be forced to feed her daughter whatever she could find. She stated she has tried to apply for assistance to help take care of her family but was denied. So to feed her daughter she was forced into a life of prostitution. Being caught and charged for solicitation once before she entered a deal was placed on probation and was able to get her daughter back. Life again took its place and Ms. Parker was served with an eviction and needed a way to provide for her daughter. She was then picked up by Fresno PD again and was violated, and was sentenced to a county year. I asked why did you not try to fight it and get home to your daughter; she said she would rather have her