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Akbar Pray Foundation For Change
WE ARE THE SOLUTION TO OUR OWN PROBLEMS
Issue 4 September 5, 2012

APFFC Officers
Executive Director Akbar Pray Director of Operations Milagros Harris
Qasim S. Abdul Karim

The Power of Example!
To my brothers, sisters, friends and associates, to the ballers, bosses and shot callers…I have a favor to ask of you. The favor however is not monetary. I'm good. And although in some regards the favor is for me, in truth, the favor is a favor for you and your communities. Each of you, sometimes to greater degrees and other times to lessor ones, has demonstrated examples of power. Today, I am asking you to demonstrate the "power of example." Everyday, at sometime during the course of your day, you pass a young inner city youth that will stop whatever they are doing and look at you in awe and admiration. You, my brother/sister, are what they want to be. Shorty says you have Money, Power and Respect. He wants it. He says, "I need that for something." And Shorty says he's willing to do whatever he has to do to get it. Hence, he lives by the acronym B.A.M.N., by any means necessary." At some point Shorty's going to come to see you. He's going to ask for either a pistol or a package. Shorty says he'll put in work for you, if you ask. However, homey, this is your first step: Don't give Shorty either. Instead of a pistol give him a Kindle. Instead of a package, give him an Ipad. The same money that you might spend to take baby girl on a shopping spree could easily help shorty towards a college degree. In some regards my brother, this is an example of power, but in a broader sense this is THE POWER OF EXAMPLE. This is an incremental move. However, the old adage here rings true: "To walk a thousand miles, you must first take one step." You can make a difference in one kids life. Ripples make waves. We can, you can help to move your community from the column of hoods, back to the column of neighborhoods. Your efforts here will not return dividends overnight. However, that age old adage is more than apt here, " To win by an inch is a cinch. It's by the yard that's hard." Pay it forward. Show "the power of example." Your brother, Akbar Pray

Director of Finance Director of Public Relations Toni Johnson

Director of Human Resources Rahman Muhammad

IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?

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Issue 4, September 5, 2012
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Notes From the Editor’s Desk
Yet the prison experience is not a “Scarlet Letter.” For those who amazement as men and women, have been there, jail can either be who I have met through the course a womb or a tomb. In its proper of my life, exist within prisons of context, it can be a place for their own making. These prisons reflection, introspection and have no razor fences, no gun growth. Great men and women towers, or high forbidding walls. both here and abroad have risen There are no guards or sentries above those experiences to live patrolling the grounds to prevent more than just productive lives, their escape. Yet the prisons they but lives that have transformed live in could not be more secure. society. They live in prisons of self-doubt, low expectations and labels they Remember, “the harder the have both consciously and battle the sweeter the subconsciously embraced.

For years, I have watched in

These greats of history never accepted the way society sought to define them, as convicted felons. They used their experience to redefine themselves. More than two thousand years ago, a man was hauled into court for being an enemy of the state. The prosecutor and witnesses lambasted him as he stood in silence. As is often the norm, his friends denied knowing him. Facing a capital offence, he was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to death. Today, there is hardly a person on earth that does not know the condemned mans name…Jesus Christ. Most of us may never rise to the levels of these honored men of history. Many of us will never see real wealth or fame. However, neither man not woman can be judged by their net worth. They are ultimately judged by their self-worth. You can rise above your circumstances, regardless of how humbling they may presently be. Remember, “the harder the battle the sweeter the victory.” Akbar Pray Editor-in-Chief

These men and women live in maximum-security prisons of sensory and intellectual deprivation. These deprivations are often self-imposed. Bound by shackles and chains of “gangsta nigga, thug nigga, ride or die bitch” their aspirations are bound by the limits of the prisms though which they view themselves. Many cannot see past the self-fulfilling prophesy of their labels and subconsciously believe that geography is destiny. There are those who see incarceration as a rite of passage; the revolving door of prison as the norm. Many of them permitted themselves to be marginalized by the prison experience.

victory.”

Malcolm X returned from his incarceration to become one of the most influential leaders of the nineteen-sixties. After a twentyseven year imprisonment, Nelson Mandela would come home to become his nations first Black President. Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world would experience and extended stay in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. They stand in the company of Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey and Elijah Muhammad. All have spent time behind prison walls. Yet these men were not marginalized by their experiences. They energized them.

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Issue 4, September 5, 2012 issue, date

By Rudy Williams
I hate to use a worn out cliché, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. In this instance I’m talking about the story of Samson in the bible. It fits perfectly, Samson is us and we are him. So, who is Samson? Samson was a strong black man who came from a powerful people. He also was a fearless warrior who killed a lion with the jawbone of an ass. You might ask, how can a man slay a lion with the jawbone of an ass? Well, legend has it that Samson had the strength of ten men and that his strength came from his hair. But let’s be real, we all know that hair-even the furry blond variety that we all adore so much, despite our enduring infatuation – cannot endow a black man or a black woman with the strength of ten men. (Knock off the foolishness; we all know better.) The bible is full of signs and symbols and signs and symbols are for the wise. The millions and million of hairs on Samson’s wooly dome came from the historical fact that his fabled strength, his people, were many and mighty. Now, although Samson was big and strong with the strength of ten men, he became weak when he ignored his parents and left his ‘hood’ to fornicate-get his freak on with the women of his natural enemies. A bunny named Delilah seduced him into telling her the secret of his strength. Samson then fell asleep after he made love to the bunny. While he slept, his enemies bound him. Cut off his ‘locks,’ plucked out his eyeballs ( spiritual version), causing him to lose his strength. Three, whether we care to admit it because we are physically strong, but spiritually deaf, dumb and blind, we are Modern Rome’s permanent gladiators, slaves, court jesters, bitches and whores. Four, just like our good brothers Samson, O.J., Michael and Tiger, et al, we refuse to heed the stern warnings of our wise elders to keep our wealth in our ‘hoods and not lust after the enemy’s woman (lifestyle and culture). When we do, we end up dead or in prison. Yes, it’s true that no other race can sing, dance or jump out the gym to rebound a basketball like we can, but nonetheless, Amerikkka doesn’t respect us as men and never will until we restore our independence, manhood and spiritual vision and cease being her retained lions and gladiators. Therefore, my questions to all of us who haven’t yet completely sold out are: How many more Samsons must suffer? How may more must bleed? How many more must die before we come to our senses and heed the ancient warnings of our wise elders of Zion? How many more of us must sell ourselves and communities out to Rome, the highest bidder, before we wake up and begin using our brains and great talents to build up our nations instead of Ceasar’s? How many? One million? Two million? Five…? LETS KEEP OUR WEALTH IN OUR ‘HOODS…AND REMEMBER WE ARE TRAYVON …AND SAMSON. RUDY WILLIAMS

Wow! A once great and mighty warrior was easily emasculated by a hundred pound conniving woman! Can you believe it? Without his strength and vision, nor the roots to his ancient origins, Samson was made into a slave-toy and humiliated for the sport and gratification of Rome. However, people can endure only so much tyranny and physical abuse before they rebel. Thus, driven to a fit of suicidal madness Samson finally turned

“wake up and begin using our brains and great talents to build up our nations”
the tables on the evil Romans and brought down the stone roof and walls of the Coliseum in their stupid heads, killing them and himself during the pagan festivities. So what does the story of Samson have to do with us today, the Black Man and Woman in Amerikkka? A lot! For one, our locks (roots) have been cut off from our mighty ancestors by Modern Rome. Two, though great in numbers, we are mentally, politically, socially and economically bound and gagged in a strange land. (Strange in every sense of the word!) Amerikka plucked out our eyeballs--and she’s Delilah’s contemporaneous stepsister; nothing has changed.

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Issue 4, September 5, 2012 issue, date

Person of Interest

Akbar Pray Foundation for Change

MISSION STATEMENT
The Akbar Pray Foundation For Change (APFC) is a not for profit grassroots organization, dedicated to redirecting the lives of our urban at risk youth. It has been and remains our organization’s mantra that " we are the solution to our own problems." It is our core belief that there are those within our communities, if so engaged, who can help turn the tide of crime, delinquency and recidivism which grips the lives of so many our inner city youth. Operating from the premise that to effectively attack or address any problem you must start at its root, we have begun a program in some of our city’s schools and group homes, where we supply speakers, mentors, CDs and written material from the organization’s founder, which cuts to the heart of the problem experienced by many of these youths. Some times working with former gang members, inner city icons and others that have what is referred to as ‘street cred’, we have been able to achieve remarkable results. Expanding on our mission, we continuously recruit individuals from various work disciplines to aid in educating young men and woman with marketable skills. To those ends we have engaged people both inside and outside our community to come to our classes and or workshops to share and discuss the ups and downs, ins and outs of a wide range of work disciplines and careers. Never favoring one career path over any other, we have invited professors, urban fiction writers, successful members of the hip hop industry, general construction contractors and a Superior Court Judge to these open discussions and Socratic Circle seminars. Again, it is our core belief that "we are the solution, to our own problems." In closing. We invite your participation in this noble undertaking.

Larry Hamm is one of New Jersey's leading voices against urban violence and for social justice in all forms. He is the go to guy for multiple organizations for leadership and educating others in the skills required for rallying people to a cause.

Gibson said. "One, that he wouldn't quit school - he had a full scholarship to Princeton. And, two, that if he disagreed with my policies, he would talk to me before he went public." Gibson laughed and added, "I don't think it took very long before he violated both those promises."

"He's a quiet storm. He's very meek and humble and you never see him coming." - Earl 'The Street Doctor' Best, founder of the Street Warriors Inc. His role as an activist started in his youth as Arts High's representative to the Newark Federation of High School Student Councils during the Newark teacher’s strike of 1971. He helped lead a march down to the Gateway Hotel and organized a sit-in after learning that the students would be forced to repeat a grade due to the absences caused by the strike. He demanded a meeting with Mayor Kenneth Gibson. “He was a natural leader," Gibson said. "He was one of the brightest young leaders I ever came across." Gibson went on to appoint the 17-year-old to a vacant spot on the school board shortly after graduation. "Before I put him on the school board, I made him promise two things,"

"The most important thing I've derived from my life is the knowledge that ordinary people have tremendous power when they work collectively, when they organize, mobilize and strive for a common goal."— Larry Hamm

He later went on to become a disciple of Black Power leader Amiri Baraka.In 1982, the People's Organization for Progress (POP) was born, where he has earned the reputation as a relentless activist and a skilled orator. He is known for spellbinding his audience with his knowledge of history as well as current events. His message is empowering to young and old alike.
POP meets each Thursday, 6:30 PM, Abyssinian Baptist Church, 224 West Kinney Street, Newark, NJ.

IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? IF, NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?

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