AKBAR PRAY FOUNDATION FOR CHANGE  
The ‘RIGHT’
Take On the
Prison Reform
Movement
HUMAN TRAFFICKING
IN NIGERIA AND AT HOME
Five Fast Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

 
 

                           

 
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FROM THE AUTHOR OF

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ISSUE 18

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MAY 2014
THE

Cover Photo by Crystal A. Castro  

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APFFC Board of Directors

Director  of    
Public  Relations  
Toni Johnson

Director    
of  Operations  
Milagros Harris
Founder
Akbar Pray

Director  of  
Finance

Director  of  
Human  
Resources  
Rahman
Muhammad

Qasim
Abdul Karim

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.

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

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By Akbar Pray
I have often spoken in the past of choices and consequences, of risk and rewards.
However, two recent articles regarding two distinct men, both urban legends in
their own right, and the choices that they made or perhaps did not make, shines
an unblinking light on the subject of choices and their consequences. The articles
that follow and the life paths that they reflect, present a much more compelling
and persuasive argument for making well thought out choices than any words I
have either written or spoken in this regard. Our posture here is neither to
judge, nor to cast aspersions, but rather to encourage our readers to engage in
sober reflection and introspection. Their stories follow….

Of Crime and Punishment,
Redemption and Aerobics
By JILL CARYL WEINER
It was a stinging 9 degrees on a recent Thursday morning
when Thomas Mickens bounded into the Rochdale Village Senior
Center in Jamaica, Queens. He was 15 minutes early to teach his
8:30 a.m. aerobics class, and his boisterous entrance was met by
friendly jabs and laughter from about three dozen enthusiastic
older people. The group ranged from 60 to 89 years old, most on
the younger side of old age; none relied on walkers and only two
had canes.
Over the next hour, Mr. Mickens had his aging students
working with 1-, 2- or 3-pound weights, stretching muscles, and
doing chair and standing exercises. At one point, he had them
doing the wave in their chairs. “Looking good. A little higher.
Work with me,” Mr. Mickens, 50, coached over an R&B
soundtrack.
“They’re picking five people out of this class to go to the
Senior Olympics,” he joked as he led them in leg lifts. “Are you
good? No, you’re great!”
“I go to four of his classes a week,” said Audrey
Williams, lean and agile at 84, who drove about 10 blocks to get to
class and attends another one Mr. Mickens teaches at a senior
center in Rockaway. “It’s his personality — and the workout. He
notices everything.”
Thomas Mickens turned his focus to teaching exercise to
older adults. Credit Mr. Mickens dreams big. Right now, as
president and C.E.O. of the Tommy Experience, a fitness company
focused on older adults, he says he wants to turn his company into
an international brand, as big as Bally Total Fitness and Equinox.
He envisions sports merchandisers like Nike and Under Armour
sponsoring his company and providing comfortable workout
clothes for the 60-and-above set, “to sponsor their grandmothers,
aunts and grandfathers like they would sponsor kids or a team.”
Continued on page 6

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The outcome of the trial hardly matters: The
defendant, a former hip-hop manager for artists like the Game
and Gucci Mane, has already been sentenced to life in prison
for running a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring
But the federal murder-for-hire trial of James
Rosemond — known in rap circles as Jimmy Henchman — has
provided a rare glimpse into a New York hip-hop feud that
lasted for more than four years and ended with the fatal
shooting of an associate of the rapper Curtis Jackson, better
known as 50 Cent. Closing arguments are expected on Monday
in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
Four former members of Mr. Rosemond’s drug gang have
taken the stand over the last three weeks to describe the longrunning conflict between their boss and G-Unit, the rap group
founded by 50 Cent and Tony Yayo and managed by Chris
Lighty.
The feud started in early 2005 when the Game put out
a debut solo album, and 50 Cent expelled him from G-Unit
during a live radio show on Hot 97. The Game went to the
station with a big entourage to confront 50 Cent. Shots were
fired. One man was wounded.
It escalated in March 2007, when Tony Yayo and a member of
the G-Unit entourage, Lowell Fletcher, assaulted Mr.
Rosemond’s 14-year-old son on West 25th Street. Mr. Fletcher,
a Bloods gang member whose street name was Lodi Mack,
went to prison for the assault and drug possession; Tony Yayo,
whose given name is Marvin Bernard, received 10 days of
community service.
Not satisfied, Mr. Rosemond, 49, pursued revenge against GUnit for the next two years, shooting up the homes and
torching the cars of his enemies, his former associates testified.
Continued on page 6

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Mr. Stewart, who has a long history as a petty drug dealer,
described shooting up the entrance of Mr. Lighty’s company,
Violator Records, in 2005 in retaliation for the gunfight outside
of Hot 97.
As the feud escalated, Mr. Stewart said he was asked
by Mr. Rosemond to take part in several tit-for-tat acts of
violence. In 2007, he slashed Mr. Lighty’s brother with a razor
in the street. He also admitted he had shot up a house on Staten
Island belonging to Baja Walters, a road manager for G-Unit.
Mr. Stewart said he spent many nights with Mr. Rosemond
staking out 50 Cent, Tony Yayo or Mr. Lighty, looking for a
chance to shoot them.
“He said that, you know, they’re not going to
understand what it is until they are carrying a coffin and they’re
crying, like ‘I miss my homie,’ ” Mr. Stewart said.
Mr. Abdullah said the tensions between Mr.
Rosemond and G-Unit began to heat up in December 2006
during the Mixtape Awards at the Apollo Theater. That night,
Tony Yayo accosted Mr. Rosemond and started
yelling at him about the Game’s insults.
Continued on page 7

Continued on page 7

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Feud…continued from page 5
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Finally, on Sept. 27, 2009, prosecutors say, Mr. Rosemond
orchestrated the shooting of Mr. Fletcher on Jerome Avenue in
the Bronx, just two weeks after he left prison.
Witnesses said a dispute that began as the usual
posturing between hip-hop personas, calculated to excite fans
and sell albums as both 50 Cent and the Game released
insulting raps about each other, became for Mr. Rosemond a
personal vendetta toward anyone connected with G-Unit.
“He said, ‘These dudes ain’t going to be happy until they go to
a funeral,’ ” testified Khalil Abdullah, who said he was one of
Mr. Rosemond’s managers in the drug ring.
Mr. Abdullah also testified last year, when Mr. Rosemond was
convicted in Federal District Court in Brooklyn of running a
cocaine ring that pulled in $11 million a year. Prosecutors in
Manhattan sought a separate trial on the murder charge for Mr.
Rosemond and one of his alleged co-conspirators, Rodney
Johnson.
Mr. Rosemond’s lawyer, Bruce J. Maffeo, has
hammered away at the credibility of the prosecution’s
witnesses, who testified on promises of reduced sentences for
murder and drug convictions.
In his cross-examinations, Mr. Maffeo also has stressed that
Mr. Rosemond was in Miami at the time of the murder and that
he never explicitly told his associates he wanted Mr. Fletcher to
die.
Mohammed Stewart, 36, told the jury he was one of Mr.
Rosemond’s top henchmen until his arrest in April 2010, going
by the nickname “Tef.”

   

   

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A member of Tony Yayo’s entourage flashed

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a gun,
and Mr. Rosemond’s group left out a back exit, Mr.
Abdulla said. Later that night, Mr. Abdullah said he
hired two people to pump several bullets into Tony
Yayo’s Bentley as it idled on Madison Avenue in
Harlem.
A few days later, Mr. Abdullah said Mr.
Rosemond had told him that the rapper Sean Combs,
now known as Diddy, tried to broker a truce in his
office between Mr. Rosemond and Mr. Lighty. But the
two managers started scuffling, and Mr. Combs had to
break up the fight.
Brian McCleod, a low-level drug dealer who
did errands at Mr. Rosemond’s studio in the early
2000s, described how he lured Mr. Fletcher to Jerome
and Mount Eden Avenues in the Bronx by promising
to give him money and to introduce him to women.
Mr. McCleod, whose nickname is Slim, said
he had gone to prison in 2004 after the police caught
him as he carried nine kilograms of cocaine out of a
stash house for Mr. Rosemond. While incarcerated, he
said, he befriended a Bloods gang member who was
close to Mr. Fletcher.
A day after Mr. McCleod was released in
August 2009, he met with Mr. Rosemond outside
Central Park. “I told him I had a line on the individual
who slapped his son,” Mr. McCleod testified.
A few days later, Mr. McCleod said the pair
met at the food court in the Whole Foods at Columbus
Circle, where Mr. Rosemond offered him $30,000 to
lead Mr. Fletcher into an ambush.
At first, Mr. McCleod said, Mr. Rosemond
wanted to shoot Mr. Fletcher himself, saying “it’s
going to be so fast and so quick no one will know.”
But Mr. McCleod persuaded him to hire a mutual
friend, Derrick Grant, to pull the trigger. They
received a kilo of cocaine as payment.
Mr. Abdullah testified that Mr. Rosemond
admitted to hiring the men who shot Mr. Fletcher.
They were standing outside Mobay Restaurant in
Harlem a few days after the murder when Mr.
Rosemond started telling the story. “He said Slim’s
man came out of nowhere and clapped the dude up,”
Mr. Abdullah said.
Mr. Abdullah said he asked Mr. Rosemond if
the murder could be traced back to him. “He said,
‘Nah, dude is a gangbanger,’ ” Mr. Abdullah recalled.
“ ‘That [expletive] happen in the Bronx.’ ”

these guys.
I left a trail, but I can’t clean it up.”

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I remember reading somewhere once
that those that do not learn the lessons of
history are destined to repeat them. I am
writing this letter in an effort to help you
avoid repeating some too costly lessons.
To that end I am writing this open letter
to share with an insight that many claim
can only truly be learned, understood, or
appreciated from behind the restraints of
a prison wall.
It is my near prayer that you might learn
this costly lesson without having to
bump your collective heads, for some
reasons my brothers are far too costly to
learn from experience. Some lessons are
so costly, that they will not allow you a
second chance at bat. It is these type of
lessons that I pray this open letter may
help you avoid.
On November 1, 1987, the United States
Federal Government, through an act of
congress, instituted a new sentencing
program that would come to be known
as the New Sentencing Guidelines.
Simultaneously to the New Sentencing
Guidelines, the United States
Sentencing Commission decided to
change the ratio of crack cocaine to
powdered cocaine to a ratio of 100 to 1.
What this meant in practical terms was
that a person arrested for possession
with the intent to distribute 1 gram of
crack cocaine would be sentenced as if
he had possessed 100 grams of
powdered cocaine.
By now most of you are familiar with
this change and no doubt familiar with
the direct consequences it entailed for

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those that would be sentenced under it. However, in 1987 no one could have envisioned
the havoc this new sentencing law and the crack to cocaine 100 to 1 ratio would have on
those still trapped in what have come to refer to as the “game.” Many of us were blind
sided, caught defending against a right cross, only to be punished by a left hook.
On April 28, 2004, while many of you sleep, gangbanged or parties, the 108th Congress
quietly passed a bill that is destined to have a more devastating effect on your generation
then the Crack Law and New Sentencing Guidelines had on mine. This bill or law is now
known as the ANTI-GANG ACT.
It is been often said that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” What that means for present
purposes is that whether you are aware of the existence of a law or not matters little when
you are in a court of law. In this regard my homies and brothers, let me lace you p. Under
the provisions of the ANTI GANG ACT, you may be sentenced and punished as follows
for the following violations:

SECTION 102 CRIMINAL STREET GANGS (b) PARTICIPATING IN A
CRIMINAL STREET GANG
It shall be unlawful for any person –
(1) To do any act with the intent to affect the criminal activities of a street gang.
(2) To commit, attempt to commit, aid or abet the commission or conspire to
commit a predicate gang crime.
a. In furtherance or in aid of the activities of the street gang;
b. For direct or indirect benefit of the criminal street gang, or in
association with the street gang;
c. For the purpose of gaining entrance to, or maintaining or increasing
position in the criminal street gang;
While knowingly be a member of or participating in a street gang…
Under the penalty of the aforementioned crimes, the ANTI GANG ACT provides
as follows:
(3) Who ever violates subsection (b)(2) or (b)(3) shall be fined under this titled,
imprisoned not more than 20 years or both; except –
(A) Where the predicate gang crime is a serious drug offense, then whoever
violates these subsections shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not
more than 30 years or both, or
(B) Where the predicate gang crime is a violent gang crime, whoever violates
these subsections shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term
or for life, or both.
Continued on page 9

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Open Letter
to dmy
Homies …continued from page 8
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As you sit now reading this letter in the
comfort of your home, car or across a
restaurant’s table, the penalties outlines
above, some carrying life sentences, are
no more than mere words on paper.
However, and trust me my homies and
brothers every time that you hear the
words “life sentence” or “continue to
expiration” and you are the subject being
spoken of, it is like hearing it for the very
first time.
My brothers, there is a sinister plan
stirring, being implemented by unsmiling
men in dark suits. You are the hunted.
The crimes and penalties were outlined
with you in mind. Don’t spring the trap. If
you consider yourself true to what you
have mistakenly called the “game” then
my brother please know that the point of
the game was never unjustified and
wanton violence for violence sake.

acceptable to any of us, the bullet meant
for your supposed enemy invariably finds
its way into the spine of some six-year old,
paralyzing he/she for life, or in the head,
abbreviating a life that has yet to be fully
realized.
My Blood Brothers – If Brother Love
Overrides Oppression and Destruction,
then you cannot in fairness to the code you
claim to live by be a part of the problem.
You must become a vanguard for the
solution. Your own code demands nothing
less.
My Crip Brothers – If Community
Revolution In Progress is what you truly
stand for, then you must revolt against the
senseless killings. You must revolt against
the killing of young black children, whose
only crime is that they live in your hood.
Like your Blood brothers, your own code
demands nothing less.

The game was meant as a jump-start from
the poorhouse to the penthouse. If there
was an idea or motive behind many of our
entries into, it was to stack dollars not
bodies. When money is your objective
homie, violence is not a first resort; it is a
last resort.
With members of the police department
routinely killing innocent black men, boys
and sometimes women, how can you in
clear conscious add to the misery index of
your own communities with competing
numbers. Drive by shootings, reckless
gun-play has turned many of our
neighborhoods into virtual “killing
fields.” In the game as it is currently
being played out, the death of innocent
young boys and girls are fast becoming
acceptable collateral damages.
Now far more often that should ever be

My brothers, when mom-dukes or
grandma-dukes steps out of her house and
sees you she should feel a sense of
comfort, not fear and apprehension. If
your sets and colors stand for anything, it
was that you were to be a guardian in your
hood -- the person that the old folks and
children could turn to, not run from. That
is supposed to be your calling. Step your
game up.

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On a more personal level, there is no
clearer indication of the senselessness
and futility of banging for the sake of
banging and stacking bodies as
opposed to dollars then to be in a
state or federal penitentiary and six
months into your bid for murder you
can barely make commissary and
could not have made bail, if they had
given you one. For that reason
homies I ask you a question that you
should have long since asked
yourself: what was it all for?
Lest my brother you get it twisted,
Akbar Pray is not anti-money, nor am
I anti-luxury. I am however, antinonsense, anti-foolishness, and antiwasted lives. Trust me when I tell
you that I know your struggles and
feel your pain. I’ve been there. I
know that all the crimes that
politicians often speak of, no one
speaks of the crime of poverty; the
crime of shattered dreams and dashed
hopes; the crime of limited
opportunities for some in a country
that is a horn of plenty for others.
Still yet my brothers and homies, I
caution you that the Anti Gang Act
has placed you in the cross hairs of a
highly skilled and proficient sniper –
a sniper that is armed with the law
and backed by a gang far more
ruthless than you could ever imagine.
Through his scope he sees neither red
nor blue, neither soldier nor shotcaller. He only sees two colors, black
and brown. You my brother, my
homies, are his quarry, his target, the
hunted.
For that reason my brother I ask you
to pump your brakes. Check your
rear-view mirror. You will no doubt
notice that the object in the mirror is
closer than it appears.
Your brother, Akbar Pray

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By Milagros Milan Harris

As the economic chasm between the haves and have-nots reaches
cataclysmic proportions, what will become the new currency for
the have-nots? How about JOY?

“The fact is that people are good. Give people affection
and security, and they will give affection and be secure in
their feelings and their behavior.” Abraham Maslow

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THE IMPORTANCE OF
REMEMBERING OUR ANCESTORS
"Home is where the heart is."
By” Dr. Ru”
Rudy Williams

“To succeed we need all the
love, loyalty and support that
we are capable of giving to
each other, and we need unity
and organization to find our
way back home…”  

Our ancient Egyptian forebears considered the worship and
remembrance of our ancestors so vital to the science of
spirituality, which they mastered, and to our spiritual

If not us, who? If not now, when?
Your brother,
Fidel A.K.A. "Dr. Ru"

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to
reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The
bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that
we’ve been so credulous.” – Carl Sagan
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The Final Installment of the Three-Part
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“OLD GANGSTERS &
YOUNG GUNS”
The upcoming book by Cavario H.

During my nearly two
decades in the street, I had come
across dudes that presumably had a lot
of cash, they may have even been
“millionaires,” they most certainly
qualified for the more popular term:
“nigga-rich.” Back in the 80s it wasn’t
uncommon to find several sneaker
boxes full of cash, 10 and 20,000dollar stacks, in a tenement or housing
projects apartment in any ghetto, in
most American cities. This seemed
cool–I mean if you came up hard and
hungry and at some point found
yourself able to actually put your
hands on a couple of hundredthousand dollars, having all that
money at your immediate disposal,
you might feel a sense of control over
your own destiny. Who wouldn’t feel
a sense of security, having cash like
that around?
You’d most definitely believe
that with it you could handle any
problem–it may even feel like power.
But there are many flaws in that type
of power, one of the major flaws is
that paper doesn’t belong to you, it
belongs to the Federal Reserve. And
since it is the property of that privately
owned corporation, as is stated on
each and every “document,” it does
not matter how much of it you have
under your mattress or in your closet.
If the Fed's enforcement agency,
alternately referred to as the “federal
government,” does not acknowledge
your stash as legitimate, then it may as
well be old newspaper. If “your”
money isn’t flowing in this country’s
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mainstream economic system or at
least recognized by an established
banking organization, then it really
doesn’t provide you leverage, and it
really isn’t power at all. It’s sitting there
in shoe boxes and you can look at it and
count it over and over again, but you
know you had better be careful where
and how you spend it. At some point
you may realize that all that paper is
somewhat of a burden, “What am I
gonna do with it, where can I hide it?
How many chains and whips can I
cop?!”

“Question: When is a profit not
a profit?Answer: When the
(definite) risks far outweigh the
(potential) rewards”  
Although these dilemmas may
be less burdensome than hunger or
despair, they are still burdens (if you
haven’t been there, I really don’t expect
you to appreciate that point). But as with
any burden you’ll probably seek to
relieve yourself of its stress. So for the
lack of better ideas you may go to car
dealerships, jewelry stores and malls,
which is fucked up because most
colleges and trade schools will take that
paper just as quickly, and they won’t ask
any questions either. But you’re gonna
look kind of silly walking around with a
degree on your neck or trying to put 20
inch rims on a certificate of
achievement–so fuck that, right?
Question: When is a profit not a profit? 
Answer: When the (definite) risks far
outweigh the (potential) rewards. When
this is the case it is just not a worthwhile
chance to take.
Believe me, I know about
“Right-Now-syndrome” and “I Don’t

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Give a Fuck-itis,” but many of the judges
in this country’s court system care even
less about you than you do. Many of them
(not all) especially “don’t give a fuck”
about giving you 30, 40 or 50 years in a
prison cell. In fact they have a more
difficult time deciding what to order for
lunch than they do serving you a life
bid.The sentencing for drug-related crimes
has become more severe over the years,
almost in direct correlation to the decreased
profitability of selling them (makes ya’ say,
“Hmmm” don’t it?) and the people that are
most affected by that increased severity are
probably the least aware of it.
Mandatory minimums are so rigid
that even first time, nonviolent offenders
are more often being imprisoned–is it
because of the “War on drugs?” No. It’s
because a prison without inmates is like a
hotel without guests. Where’s the profit in
that? The people on the street, including
cops, are no more than lubrication for the
life-grinding wheels of “the system,” a
system that’s making the rich richer and is
condemning the poor to an existence that
rivals generational indentured servitude
until death. This is the case in the world as
well as in prison.
“America” is a business, run by
businessmen under the auspices of
“government.” From the viewpoint of
people from the street, it has become
painfully obvious that the main
commodities in this “business” are drugs
and human lives. Not a bad stock and trade
when you think about it, plants and people
are two resources that are not likely to run
out anytime soon.
In his governmental expose,
Behold A Pale Horse, ex-Naval
Intelligence Briefing team member and
author William Cooper (RIP) exposed
many common practices of this “system.”
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In chapter 1 of the book: “Excerpts from Silent
Weapons for Quiet Wars,” under the excerpt heading
“Energy” (second to last paragraph) it states; “In order to
achieve a totally predictable economy, the low-class
elements of society must be brought under control, i.e.,
must be housebroken, trained, and assigned a yoke1 and
long-term social duties from a very early age, before they
have an opportunity to question the propriety of the matter.
In order to achieve such conformity, the lower-class family
unit must be disintegrated by a process of increasing
preoccupation of the parents and the establishment of
government-operated day-care centers for the
occupationally orphaned children.”
Yoke: (1) A device for joining together a pair of draft
animals, esp. oxen, usually consisting of a crosspiece with
two bow-shaped pieces, each enclosing the head of an
animal. (2) An agency of oppression, subjection, servitude,
etc.
2Propriety: rightness or justness.
I was taught, “The game is to be sold, not told,” I believe
that the price is substantially greater than the cost of a
newspaper. Most criminals believe that they are operating
outside of the system–but the truth is they are doing just as
the circumstances being systematically perpetuated, through
a campaign of information-manipulation and greed,
religious anesthetizing and blindfolding, dictate that they
do. Information is and always will be power, for one to
believe that the privileged few who possess the greatest
degree of that power are going to just give it away for the
cost of a daily rag is, in my opinion, unrealistic.Consider
that, and this as well; people want to be entertained more
than they want to be informed. The privileged-few,
overstanding this fact, provide as much entertainment as
they can and keep the majority of information for
themselves–in their own, “more responsible, more capable
and more deserving” hands.And for what we do not know,
those of us on the street have paid, and will continue to pay,
with all that is dearest to us: our families, our freedom and
our sanity. I’ve shared this theory with different people over
the years, and whether they are civies or soldiers, “blackhats” or “white-collars,” the common response is, “If they
can control the drugs flowing into this country, why don’t
they just stop it?” To which I can only respond with a shrug
of my shoulders and a simple one-word answer, “Control.”
You probably thought I was going to say, “Money.” If
that’s so, then you really haven’t been paying attention, I’ll
make it plain, Information is power, money in the hands of
the uninformed is just paper. They may as well wipe their
asses with it.

issue,  date  

Recommended

4

Reading
RAISED BY WOLVES:
Inside the Mind of a
Guerilla Hustler,
Available on
AMAZON.COM
The amazing autobiography of Cavario H. (Creator and former Editor
at Large of Dondiva Magazine) - One of New York City's most
documented and prolific hustlers - Raised by Wolves. This book is not
only interesting and inspirational, it's also an honest and truly impartial
look into his life, the difficult decisions he had to make in order to succeed
as well as survive and the triumphs of trial and error. Be sure to purchase
this book as first editions are going fast.

 

― James Baldwin
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AN ACCURATE HISTORY
OF OUR AFRICAN
ROOTS
BY VIRGILLIO LLANO

People of color are in the worst social
and economic conditions we have been
in history. While our ancestors were
forced to endure kidnapping and
bondage, their descendants, actually
assist the oppressors, knowingly or
unknowingly, in the perpetuation of the
very slave system at the root of our
condition. Our psychological
colonization and bondage is facilitated
and solidified by an inaccurate
account of Afrikan history. In order to
de-colonize our minds, we must
appropriately and systematically address
those areas in which we lack knowledge,
such as our cultural heritage, spiritual
conceptions, economics and the world
views of our ancestors.
According to U.S. text books, Afrikan
people became relevant in 1619 with the
advent of slavery. We are told that we’ve
contributed nothing of substance to
history or civilization. Believing that our
history began with slavery and that
before this we were savages, running
round in the jungle butt-ass naked,
subconsciously we’ve developed an
inferiority complex. Stripped of our
history, the debilitating myths about
Afrikans are perpetuated because they
generate peculiar psychological
characteristics in America’s Afrikans. As
a result we have developed low selfesteem and a lack of confidence. Hence,
our lack of identity and direction as a
collective make us ripe for exploitation.
Let’s begin our brief but accurate

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account of Afrikan history….
According to scholars such as geneticist
Rebecca Cann; archeologist Louis Leakey;
anthropologist Albert Churchward, the
genetic make up of all humans can be
traced back to the oldest human remains
found in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Ancient scholar Herodotus tells us that the
very fist civilizations also sprung from this
same region. They called them the

“Stripped of our history, the
debilitating myths about Afrikans
are perpetuated because they
generate peculiar psychological
characteristics in America’s
Afrikans.”

Ethiopians, meaning the burnt-faced ones.
According to the ancient historians, these
Ethiopians weren’t only the founders of
civilization, but the founders of humanity as
well, considered the first of all men to
appear on the earth; the Autochthones or
‘those who sprung from the soil,’ the
founders of science and civilization and the
favorites of the Gods. According to the
French philosopher, Count Volney, the first
learned nation was a nation of
Blacks.“While others were yet barbarians,
the Ethiopians, a race of people now
rejected from society for their black skin a
frizzled hair, were the first to discover the
elements of the arts an sciences.” From
these Ethiopians emerged the most

THE  URBAN  PERSPECTIVE      

remarkable civilization in recorded
history.
The Ancient Egyptians.
The nascent emergence of the first
European civilization was made possible
only through Black Africans. Most
Greek intellectuals made the pilgrimage
to Egypt, the cradle of civilization, as a
part of their education. Today, the
Ancient Egyptians depicted on the
Discovery Channel are portrayed as
looking European, but if we read the
writings of the Ancient Greeks and their
contemporaries, who were eye-witnesses
to this civilization, the Egyptians were
described as having black skin, full lips,
broad noses and wooly hair. From a
Eurocentric perspective, Ancient
Egyptians appeared to have started their
civilization with a fully formed language;
a complex system of writing; an advance

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Federal Sentencing for Drug Crime is about to get smarter;
or, at least that what some people think. In what could be a
significant change in the Federal Sentencing laws for drug
crimes, Senator Richard Durbin sponsored a bill -- "The
Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013" or SSA -- that was
introduced to the Senate in August of 2013. There is no word
on if and when the bill will become law, (it has passed the
Senate Judiciary Committee and heads now to the Senate
Floor) but President Obama -- through Attorney General
Holder -- has made it clear that he advocates of change to the
sentencing laws and would likely sign the bill. To some, like
the NAACP and FAMM -- Families against Mandatory
Minimums -- this bill is a welcomed change. To others, like
some seasoned U.S. Attorneys across the country this is bad
for communities and will directly lead to a drug crime surge.
Either way, the SSA is a clear message that the America's
strategy in the War on Drugs is about to change its tactics.

 

1. The retroactivity of the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA) of 2010,
which increased the amounts of crack cocaine that trigger five
and 10 year mandatory minimums. The SSA would make the
FSA retroactive by allowing federal crack cocaine offenders
who committed their offenses before August 3, 2010 to make a
motion to the Court requesting the application of the FSA to
their case.
2.
SSA would modify and expand the criteria for the
"safety valve" exception to mandatory minimums by allowing
the "safety valve" benefit to apply to those defendants who fall
into Criminal History Category I and II -- rather than just
Category I.
3.Perhaps the most critical and also the most controversial aspect
of the bill, reduce the five, 10 and 20 year mandatory minimum
sentences to two, five and 10 year terms respectively.

Further positives of reducing mandatory minimum
sentences include:
• reduce prison overcrowding
• saving taxpayer money
• minimizing the risk of destroying family units which in
turn destroy communities.  

Follow Steven Brill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SullivanBrill    
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-brill/federal-drug-sentencing-i_b_5077295.html

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SNITCHES,
AND
AGENTS PROVOCATEURS
 

Over the last several weeks or so, there has been an
outpouring of comments, news reporting, dissertations and a bit
of hyperbolas regarding the news that during the eighties
the Reverend Al Sharpton acted as an undercover informant
for the FBI. The streets of course are talking. However, so is m
uch of mainstream media. Reverend Sharpton has been for year
s, the proverbial flame thrower, social agitator and
community activist. In instances where the state or federal
government has failed or been slow to act on behalf of
members of the minority communities, Reverend Sharpton
has brought an unblinking light. He has been a thorn in the
side of the powers that be.
To hear now that he has been on more than one occasion or
perhaps over a prolonged period of time a paid informant, if
this is to be believed, I would call into question his prior
works, or at the very least, give one reason for pause. Our
OP-ED here is neither to cast aspersions or to render
judgment, but rather to give more light than heat to a
question that now is under discussion in households across
the country.

engage in in the crime committed.
There are of course laws in place to protect those unsuspecting
and in some cases duped individuals who have been all but
bum rushed into committing crimes at the instigation of the
provocateurs. However, defending one’s self against these
allegations has long been a protracted and losing battle.
As these various terms and labels are bantered about, we here
at T.U.P. thought it instructive to bring more light than heat to
this subject. Along these lines we have taken from our archives
an article written by our Editor-in-Chief on the subject " The
Snitch Factor.” What a snitch is and what a snitch is not. Again
ours is not a judgment. We are simply trying to provide a
platform from which our readers may be able to reach an
informed position on this subject.

A snitch working for any law enforcement agency be it state or
federal, may at some point be required to testify in open
court. His testimony therefore is a matter of public record. A
confidential informant may never testify in open court, as he is
far more valuable to those in law enforcement if he
remains " confidential. " To those who in the past or present ha
ve acted on behalf of the law enforcement community, the agen
t provocateur would be the pick of the litter.
The agent provocateur all but creates crimes for the unwary to
participate in. In many instances his or her conduct can border
on
entrapment and indeed may qualify as just that. Their role is
justified in their minds by the fact that those that they have
ensnared have already shown a propensity or predisposition to

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THE

The Snitch Factor
A rash of events over the last several days, not the less of which
was the senseless murder of a sixteen year old college student
in Chicago, has caused this nation to focus on violence in the
African American communities, the suppose code of silence
that code seems to demand. Over the last several days or so,
politicians of every stripe have attempted to address the issue of
supposed snitching in the urban communities. To that end they
have lamented both long and hard on the dire consequences that
burden our communities when the murder or murders of some
innocent, or not so innocent, person’s death goes unattended
and far too often unpunished.
Notwithstanding the some times correctness of their position,
our pundits and leaders have failed to truly grasp the core issue
in this matter. As a result of the collective failure, they have
conceded on an issue that all but insures that their message will
never gain currency or footing in the urban communities. I read
somewhere an adage that is more than fitting here. The adage
goes that “who ever has defined the issue or the question, has
already won ninety percent of the argument.”
In the instant matter our leaders have failed to grasp and
therefore define the issue. Hence, they have for all intents and
purposes conceded the argument.
The Question of What a Snitch is and What a Snitch is Not
A snitch is first and foremost a person that has a bested interest
in a crime that he or she was a part of. A person who then for
reason that are self-serving, decides to betray a trust, for some
consideration, monetary or otherwise. He or she is in sum and
substance a party to some crime or illegal activity. A snitch
elevates his or her interest above all others. For that reason,
there are no friendships so sacred, no ties so strong, that the

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snitch will not forsake. For the snitch, there are no permanent
friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interest.

Is this article pro-snitching or even encourage snitching? It is not
and it does not. What I am attempting here is to bring more light
than heat to a subject that desperately cries out for clarification.
Over the last twenty some years, I have watched the harm that
real snitches can do. I have watched those that have ducked their
just deserts, while all the while implicating some marginal player
in a crime that they themselves stood at the epicenter of. I have
watched them betray mothers, brothers, and sometimes, innocent
people in crimes that they shared no part in.
I have watched these self absorbed, self centered pariahs cleverly
mix lies with truth to ensure that someone other than themselves
bear the blunt of crimes that were committed by them or a cadre
of criminal minions. No I don’t condone snitching, not now, not
ever. However, and perhaps even more so, I don’t condone the
perverted definition of snitching that has taken hold in our
neighborhoods.
Let’s not get it twisted. A grandmother that identifies that scum
that knocks her down, kicks her mercilessly, then robs her of her
Social Security or Welfare check is not a snitch. Grandma was
not a part or party to some illegal activity or affairs. She had no
vested interest in the outcome of that crime. She did not betray a
trust or break a bond. Your grandmother was plain and simply, a
victim. Along similar lines, neither is your nine year-old niece or
nephew a snitch that identifies from a line up the pervert that
tried to molest them. Likewise, neither are the countless young
men that have come forward and identified priests or pastors that
stole their innocence. They are not, and were not snitches and
shouldn’t be identified as such ever.
None of the afore mentioned parties were a part of the crime that
was committed against them. They never entered into an
argument to break the law, and when the hammer fell, elected to
betray whatever trusts existed between themselves and their
comrades. A snitch in his or her essence is a betrayer, not a
grandmother, a citizen or a young child that identifies the scum
that tried or succeeded in raping them. Neither is your neighbor
a snitch that calls the police after seeing some burglar breaking
into your home. He is a citizen, doing what citizens do, behaving
as citizens behave. Somehow, at some point someone has taken
the true definition of snitch and turned it upside down on it’s
head. In hoods that refuse to self-police, where they look the
other way, what this bastardized definition of the word snitch has
caused its neighborhoods that are not killing fields and children
that dare not go outside, less they lose their young lives, and the
culprit in their deaths go unquestioned, unpunished.
Collectively we have to redefine what a snitch is and what a
snitch isn’t.
Your brother,
Akbar Pray

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Sharpton was ‘eager to get
slice of 1980s coke deal’: pal
By Frank Rosario  

 

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We Shall Not Be Moved!

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By Deborah Smith-Gregory
President of the Newark Chapter NAACP
“The struggle for Civil or Human Rights in America may be
different from what our ancestors endured but the struggle today
is just as arduous.”

This year marks the 50th Anniversary

an African American President has not. In
fact, the presence of an African American
in the most powerful seat and title in the
world has flushed up the sick, deeply
embedded racism that exists in this
country even though the institution of
slavery was 385 years ago.

of the Civil Right Act in America and
the national theme of this year for
Black History is “Civil Rights in
America.” Reflecting upon the
relevancy of the statement, I thought
about its meaning and being a former
teacher I immediately went to a
dictionary.
Civil: of a citizen or citizens, of
having to do with the government,
state or nation, occurring among
citizens of one community, state or
nation, polite, courteous, behaving in
a civilize way as a citizen should,
having to do with the private rights of
individuals and with the laws
protecting these rights, enjoying the
benefits of civilization.
Rights: as it ought to be, agreeing
with what is good, just or lawful,
equitable, ethical, correct, true,
favorable, healthy normal; something
that is due a person, fair treatment;
justice, to make correct; put in order
set right; By inherent or personal
right; independent of other conditions
or qualifications



The struggle for Civil or Human
Rights in America may be different
from what our ancestors endured but
the struggle today is just as arduous.
Much has changed, much has not.

We shall not be moved from
working to increase the number of
registered voters, promoting voter
education and empowerment;
We shall not be moved from
working to eliminate discriminatory
practices regarding wages, training,
promotions and dismissals;
Or addressing discriminatory
practices in public education;
We shall not be moved from
addressing discriminatory housing
practices;
Or from supporting equal access to
healthcare, treatment and research
We shall not be moved from
enlisting the moral support of the
religious community to address civil
rights initiatives.
Or from coordinating youth
programs promoting leadership;
We shall not be moved from calling
for an end to racial disparities at all
levels of the penal system and
calling for smarter criminal justice
policies;

WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!!

This post racial utopia that everyone
believed would come into play with

   

Human rights: the rights of all
human beings to fair treatment and
justice and to basic needs such as
food shelter and education

   

Moving toward the next century:

Humanity: human beings taken as a
group; people; mankind, kindness,
mercy; human nature, character or
quality

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Today, many still find a ceiling or the
“reformed” racism that no longer openly
growls but now wears a mask that grins
and lies.

   

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ENTERTAINER,  ENTREPENEUR  …AND  HE’S  JUST  GETTNG  STARTED  

My name is
Justin
MacFarlane
A.K.A Jesse
James. I'm
from Ottawa,
Ontario,
Canada.
Ottawa is a
very diverse
city with
many cultures
and people
from all walks
of life. I
believe I benefited from this by meeting
so many different folks and learning
different ideologies. I went to Rideau
High School in the heart of Ottawa, on
St. Laurent Blvd. Rideau taught me
more then just math and history etc.... it
taught me the way the world works,
how people interact with each other,
how people gain respect, and how to
make an extra buck here and there. I
enrolled in a co-op program while
attending Rideau, which is a program
where you leave the school for half the
day and spend it in a career
environment. Instead of picking
automotive shops, or retail stores like
many of the other students, I decided to
aim for a recording studio (seeing how I
love music and had been rapping since
the age of 13). Now... let me tell you...
this was around 2000 and studios in
Ottawa were scarce. The few that
existed had no interest in a co-op
student. I really had to dig to find one
that would take me on as a student. I
found that at Sound Of One Hand
Studios. (It has been taken on by new
owners and has a new name, but still
stands in Ottawa on Liverpool Crt.).

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Bob Dylan... and the list goes on.)
The owner at the time was a gentleman
by the name of John Dooher, who really
took me under his wing and allowed me
full access to his studio. After I graduated
high school and the program was over, he
took me on as an apprentice and allowed
me to continue to learn. My parents were
not in a position to send me to college so
hey... this was the next best thing. I would
go to my full time job at a CD store
everyday, and then walk up to the studio
every evening and practice. Sometimes I
didn't even know what I was practicing.
Writing lyrics, beats, Pro Tools, guitar...
whatever it was, I was just happy to be
there. Unfortunately Mr. Dooher could no
longer retain ownership of the studio (I
think it's because he was too generous to
kids like me)... so when the new owners
rolled in, my free time ran out. I took what
I learned there and ran with it. I started
building my own home studio, piece by
piece. A drum machine here, a computer
there, a guitar, synthesizer, microphone
etc... Now, I also have to point out that I
have been lucky enough to be surrounded
by good musicians most of my life. The
universe has a strange way of pulling the
right people together. So once I had a little
studio set up, people I knew from the street
and the neighborhood would naturally
flock my way. Some of them just looking
to benefit themselves, some of them
becoming life long friends. You learn to
separate the two very quickly. I won't get
into the nonsense and dramatics that
surround the rap music genre...the egos,
the dope, the fake, the Hollywood
gangsters...etc... but let's just say I've come
across my fair share of characters! (I
should also mention I'm a fan of all genres
and enjoy everything from Frank Sinatra,
to Etta James, to Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy,

THE  URBAN  PERSPECTIVE      

So I spent many years supporting the
local hip hop scene and even
participating myself by rapping on
features. I never released any solo work,
but I did end up travelling down to
Newark, New Jersey to record with one
of the guys I grew up on... Hussein Fatal
from 2Pac's Outlawz. For me that was a
big deal because I felt like that was the
top of the line. I didn't care about making
money or being on magazine covers, I
just thought it was cool as hell to be
rapping with this dude I grew up on. First
time I went to Newark was in 2008 and
we went to a local studio. Next year in
2009 I brought my home studio down
and set it up in a townhouse. And the
year after that, 2010, I brought it down
again and we set it up in a hotel. In the
end we had enough for a little album to
throw on the Internet for free download. I
don't know how much attention it got,
but I was proud either way. After that,
the music thing died down for me and I
tried focusing on other artists like my
friend's soul band and other local
rappers.

Throughout this time I was also
engaging in different careers. I started
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doing work at age 12, helping my mother clean the doctor's office
she was employed at. She would give me 5 dollars for a good
nights work. That implanted work ethic. I went on to have a paper
route, work at A&W, Canadian Tire, Landscaping/Construction,
CD store, Lawn Care, Uniform Supplies.... but I always wanted to
have my own business. I said "fuck it" ... and registered a business
number. I tried to start a business selling bathroom supplies to local
businesses. Soaps, toilet paper, paper towel, hand sanitizers...
whatever makes money. Things didn't work out as easy as I thought
they would. Legal issues and suppliers etc.... but I'm saving that
one... Bathroom industry will never die ;) So I quit my union job to
start a different kind of business with truck owner/operators. I
became a member of a team who owns 5 trucks and delivers
medical supplies to hospitals and doctors offices. I love my job and
make good money doing it. It ain't the top of the world... but I'm only
29... and I have a long way to go....

Memorial
Safia Miller

Let us know what you’re
thinking on Facebook
THE URBAN
PERSPECTIVE
AND
Akbar Pray Foundation
For Change  

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by
If it’s anybody who’s under God’s grace, I am,
A true wretched soul who’s committed a large amount of sin.
Yet I still possess the breath of life, still having a chance
To fortify my stake in an ethereal trance.
Truly, a spirit is like that of a fallen snow flake,
Beautiful ‘til intersected with human’s destined mistakes.
I’m trying to get back to my original state of being,
A peaceful energy in lieu of one who’s internally grieving.
Lord, please forgive my flesh on the behalf of my spirit,
And take my accumulated slate of sin and clear it.
I’m sorry for nefarious actions done for fleshly satisfaction,
Heal these self-inflicted wounds by way of Your compassion.
As for spiritual health, allow me to forgive myself,
It’s within Your grace and mercy that one attains wealth.
Let my soul be on Earth as it was in Your home,
Fearfully and skillfully wrought, yet a joy to behold.
Through Your Son’s act, which was done for the remission,
This prodigal soul has returned with a written repentance.
Atonement is sought after when I’m asleep and when awake,
May this temple be Your dwelling for an indefinite stay......
****************************
Salutations Dearie; (that’s what I call my grandmother)
This is going to make your hand raise to have your mouth
covered.
This is being penned with the love of a first grandchild,
Sending you birthday wishes, causing a tearful smile.
How did it feel to read about yourself in Proverbs 31?
In making you, God just wanted to have fun.
I’m still in awe in regards to His wondrous deeds,
Placing a legion of angels in one flesh for all to see.
I recall you driving yourself and several others to church,
I still have my life, health, and strength - so clearly, prayer works.
You exemplify so many virtuous attributes,
It might take me ‘til my last breath to list them out for you.

Please have a seat my love, and take heed to what’s said,
There’s some things I’m experiencing I’ve always dread.
I think now’s the time to stop being in my own way,
It’s cause of you I’m facing and chasing my demons away.
When I used to get asked about me getting married,
I viewed love as a disease that one terminally carried.
People grow and change according to the quality of time,
Something stale can, and often times, changes one’s mind.
I guess being from a broken home has nurture this view,
Picture 3000 miles being between whom fathered you.
Learning martial arts and how to play catch by myself,
Made me devalue a partnership regarding emotional health.
“Spend the night, then go home”, was the mantra for my dome,
Being the only child desensitized the meaning of ‘alone’.
I’m not making excuses; just giving an explanation
Why commitment is a feat for me - please have patience.
This is unchartered waters, and I’d truly hate to fail,
Picture a craved basket of fresh eggs that suddenly fell.
Something deemed as anointed giving way to disappointment,
Picture a gradual degradation of bones that’s double jointed.
I can admit to being scared; I’m a true man,
Baby at least I’m being honest, and I hope you understand.
Please help me stop my past from becoming things to come,
Carrying-on a family pattern would make me nuptially numb.
I want to do right by you, and be all you’ll ever need,
Deemed as a risk that was worth taking indefinitely.
Now with that being said; will you give me your hand?
That’ll be confirmation you were meant for this man......

How was it leaving the Pearly Gates, no longer walking on gold?
I bet your home was on a hill, where from milk and honey flows.
Your deity has graced the Earth; as it did Heaven,
The result of God’s breath of life and dust having a wedding.

COMING SOON:
PRESENTS

You are a great grandmother in two different ways,
By way of posterity, and actions displayed.
I am glad I came through a mother whom derived from you,
Though mannish when I was younger, still, I was Saint to you.

CONTACT INFO:
May this ode be viewed as me giving you a trillion roses,
As well as us shaking our heads while rubbing noses.
This was penned on a Bible - enhancing this as truth,
Happy Birthday Pretty lady, your grandson adores you......

apffc.org  

 

 

 

THE  URBAN  PERSPECTIVE  
   
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SemajThomas1@aol.com

   

   

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Stick Up Kids-Is Out to Play

The  cult  classic,  Death  of  the  Game,  by  Akbar  Pray  is  back!  
Newly  edited,  same  myth  shattering  saga.    
Death  of  the  Game  tells  the  true  story  of  one  of  the  longest  trials  
in  history.  Akbar  Pray  gives  a  detailed  account(  including  court  
documents)  of  the  circumstances  surrounding  his  trial  and  
conviction  as  one  of  the  first  Super  Kingpins  in  the  U.S.  
A  must  read  for  parents  teachers  or  anyone  who  cares  about  a  
kid  who’s  thinking  about  a  life  in  the  game,  Death  of  the  Game  
answers  the  q uestion:    Do  you  wanna  m ake  a  sucker’s  bet  with  
your  life?    

T  
Bloomfield    
 
B  

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Available  in  Paperback  and  Kindle  format  at  
www.akbarpray.com  and  www.amazon.com  
Or  send  cashiers  check  or  money  order  for  $16.95  plus  
$2.95  shipping  and  handling  to  
Brick  City  Publications  
P.O.  BOX  542  
Bloomfield,  NJ  ,  07003  

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By Omifalade

 
In  this  world  we  live  in,  filled  with  chaos,  
it  seems  we  have  become  like  ghost  
instead  of  people.  When  we  carry  
anger,  sadness  and  grudges  and  having  
nothing  than  our  own  belligerent  
attitude,  it  does  nothing  for  us  other  
than  to  age  us…badly.    
Some  of  us  seek  therapy  or  search  for  
sounding  boards  and  yet  nothing  is  
resolved.    For  some,  the  pain  becomes  
motivation.  Yet  in  the  long  run,  facing  
our  own  demons  is  much  more  
soothing  than  just  passing  the  buck.    
We  are  advised  to  forgive  and  to  let  go,  
or  so  that  is  what  we  have  been  taught  
to  believe  is  what  is  expected.    
Interesting  concept,  but  what  about  if  
you  can  forgive  and  yet  not  let  go?    
Then  what?  Is  it  wrong?  Is  it  sinful?  Is  it  
merely  our  ego?    

my  mind  is  still  who  I  was  then,  my  
spirit  will  continue  on  the  journey  of  
not  disrespecting  God,  but  
disrespecting  myself.    That  is  intention,  
maybe  not  conscious  intention  but  
never  the  less  intention.    It  is  only  
when  we  stop  crying,  yelling,  feeling  
bad,  that  things  truly  become  clear.    It  
is  when  you  have  to  decide,  “am  I  free  
now  to  face  all  m y  demons  before  I  
can  continue  to  live?”  
 Always  state  the  facts  about  a  person  
or  persons.  Tell  the  truth,  no  matter  
how  good  or  how  awful  in  order  for  
forgiveness  to  begin,  not  for  anyone  
else,  but  for  you.  This  has  been  a  
challenge  I  have  struggled  with  for  
many  years,  but  I  finally  got  it.  Even  if  I  
forgive  my  tormentors,  it  does  no  
good  at  all  if  I  cannot  forget.  If  I  blame  
all  my  troubles  on  where  I  came  from,  I  
will  never  be  able  to  journey  to  where  I  
am  truly  supposed  to  be.    So,  while  
forgiving  may  sometimes  seem  like  too  
much  work;  sometime  you  just  have  to  
give  it  to  the  wind  and  never  look  
back.  Then  you  can  truly  find  your  
freedom  from  pain.    
Love  and  Light  
Omifalade  

I  do  not  view  things  in  that  manner.  It  
has  been  my  experience  in  my  life  
time  and  profession  that  I  have  
become  like  a  sin  eater  people  come  
to  me  to  confess,  to  listen,  and  to  help  
them  get  closer  to  God  and  or  the  
Devil.  Although  I  may  question  who  
am  I  to  judge,  whether  they  desire  
wine  or  blood  does  not  make  a  
difference  to  me  when  it  is  m y  own  
soul  I  am  concerned  about.  
What  I  can  tell  you  is  that  there  is  a  
difference  between  what  we  call  
Karma  and  Dharma.  One  is  cause  and  
effect  and  the  other  is  intention,  
lovely  scenario  since  they  both  work  
hand  in  hand.    You  see,  it  is  one  thing  
to  say,  “I  will  not  be  a  murderer”  and  
yet  hire  someone  to  do  it  for  you,  
does  that  save  you?    No,  you  are  still  
the  same  person  you  always  were  just  
in  a  different  situation.    
Now  let’s  take  an  abused  person  who  
spends  years  in  therapy  and  yet  still  
allows  himself  self  to  fail  by  allowing  
these  feelings  to  haunt  him.    Trust  me  
I  know.    It  was  not  until  recently  that  I  
realized,  it  does  not  matter  if  I  talk  to  
God  six  times  a  day  or  20  times  a  day  if  

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of
their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost
be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have
some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are
trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to
make matters worse by responding angrily.”
― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full
Potential
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Survey says you have five years after college to move out
By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch

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By Sharmon A Howell

Business Consultant and Author of
Complete Credit Restoration Program

1. Make early payments:

2. Stick to 33% credit use rule.

Pay all credit card bills and loans bills before their statement due date.
Even make multiple payments during the month rather than a single
remittance. Making a payment before the due date can lower your
utilization rate, which in turn can raise your credit score. If your total
available credit is $20,000 and you have a $10,000 total balance, then
according to FICO, you have used 50%of your available credit-and
that's your utilization rate. How much you owe is 30% of your FICO
score, your utilization is a large part.

I suggest paying off or paying down all open lines of
credit so that their individual balances don't exceed 33%
of the total available credit. Use only that percentage of
the total limit at one time.

4. Keep aged accounts even if they are no
longer useful.

3. Ask for goodwill deletion.
Request a goodwill deletion based on previous on time payments. A
goodwill deletion occurs when a creditor decides to remove a negative
mark based on the customers request. State your case in writing,
explain why the payment was late, point out previous good payment
history, and ask the creditor to reconsider the negative mark, giving the
recipient 30 days to respond to the request. Removing one or two
marks on your credit report will raise your credit score.

A portion of your score is based on history and how long
you've maintained lines of credit. According to
FICO,15%of your score is the length of your credit
history." Close a 15 year-old account and you'll wipe out
all of its history." Closing the account will increase your
debt to available credit amount, which will again lower
your credit score.

5.Remove a bad debt.
Typically, paying off a collection account doesn't remove it from your
credit report. However, sometimes collection agencies will agree to
remove the debt from your credit report, if you agree to pay it off. Be
sure to get any such agreement in writing.
Remember the only on who in charge of building your credit score is
you. Take action, and don't continue to stay enslaved to debt. Next
month I will speak about why it's important to leave a will, and not a
bill. Our goal is to financially empower. For you can't change who you
are, to you change what you know.

apffc.org  
apffc.org  

   

   

   

Preview and Purchase the book at Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Credit-RestorationProgram-Sharmon/dp/149289446X

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The 2013 alleged carjacking-turned
On any given day, drop by the campuses
felony murder in Short Hills Mall, located in
BY  MARVIN  ELLISON  
of Rutgers and Seton Hall universities – inquire
an affluent New Jersey suburb received
what percentage of their student body is
 
national attention. The two individuals shot to
comprised of graduates of Newark schools. Stop by PSE&G,
death on the dark streets of Newark, New Jersey, on the same
Verizon, or Panasonic, as them what percentage of the top;
night, went unnoticed. What’s the message? The violently
middle and lower management staff are graduates of Newark
shortened life of a preppy attorney from Hoboken is more
schools. Stop by the juvenile detention center and county jail;
newsworthy and significant than the similarly shortened loves
inquire what percentage of their populations attended Newark
of two Newark residents!
schools. Ask the New Jersey Department of Corrections, what
Despite having been under state-takeover almost tow
percentage of its population attended Newark schools.
decades, Newark Schools are still failing generation after
Whether it’s Camden, Paterson, Irvington, East Orange, or
generation. Yet, we are surprised when the dropout and /or
Jersey City, the mirror reflects the same. Safety in the suburbs
graduates of a state-controlled school system make the news
is a myth! The highway corridors torn through urban
and misery index for all the wrong reasons. Undoubtedly, the
communities to convenience corporate employees are
four individuals being held in the mall carjacking aren’t college
passageways to leafy zip codes. Thus failed schools impact us
graduates. Clearly, education prepares students to succeed in
all. Furthermore, in an age of globalization the
life. Within inner city neighborhoods nationwide, failed
intergenerational wasted and denied human potential of untold
schools are typically the pipeline to the poverty line of
scores of marginalized African americans leaves the country at
economic struggle, single-parent households, criminality,
a competitive disadvantage. Get involved with the lives of our
gangs and a prison cell. There is absolutely no upside to
youth. Peace!
stepping out into society without an education.

apffc.org  

 

 

 

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STOLEN GIRLS
Nigeria’s Stolen Children: What You Need
to Know About the 276 Abducted
Schoolgirls
By Zeninjor Enwemeka
Boston.com Staff

 

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OUR GIRLS NEED
HASHTAGS TOO!
Zakiyyah Zai'mah, MA

The Hand I Write With
www.ThehandIwritewith.com

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I made

that I strive to live by:

by TUT

I’d like to thank my dear friend Mr. Akbar Pray and his
supporters for spearheading such a wonderful cause for change
and enlightenment.
Respectfully,
Walter Tut Johnson

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/27
/opinion/giving-up-on-4-yearolds.html

“In the little world in which children have their existence,

whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived
and so finely felt as injustice.”
-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations  

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OUR QUEST FOR A MORE PERFECT UNION
An excerpt from the soon to be released, Soul On Fire
-by Hafiz Farid
President Barack Obama is going to
Charlotte North Carolina to address
the nation and the world on the eve of
his acceptance of the democratic
nomination for president. When one
thinks of the daunting task of
recapturing the hearts and minds of the
American people as he did 4 years
earlier it seems like an impossible
dream that even he himself has to have
doubts about. To achieve this feat
would be a greater accomplishment
than winning the presidency and has far
more promise for the people of these
still disunited states, America and the
world, for what does it profit a man to
gain the presidency and lose the soul of
the nation. Thus it seems clear to me
that Barack Obama must go not to
Charlotte, but back to Philadelphia,
and rediscover that place in his heart
and soul that connected and resonated
with the heart and soul of America,
back to that magnificent moment in
time when the spirit was expressed so
eloquently that it transcended time,
space and race.
The speech that almost never
was, this was undoubtedly his finest
hour and one of ours as a nation, and
yet this was a decision to speak on the
forbidden topic of race that he himself
made over the objections of his
advisors. Jeremiah Wright or wrong,
was the catalyst for this monumental
manifestation of truth and reality but
the well that it sprung from was the
Soul of Man and its Divine Providence,
that place that Carlye spoke of when he
said that “truth crushed to earth shall
rise again” that sacred center within us
all that knows truth when it hears it

apffc.org  
apffc.org  

   

   

   

because it is the very nature of our souls.
Barack Obama knew at that moment,..that
where he stood was more important than
where he sat, he risked the presidency to
set a president, one that elevated the
nation not himself, he reminded us that we
all must acknowledge the stain that has
made us an imperfect union and yet bear
the awesome responsibility of striving to
live up to the true meaning of our creed.
As the world watched, we the
people, all felt proud to be called
American, for one from among us had
stood before the world and courageously
proclaimed our historical legacy and in
spite of it being cracked like the liberty bell
that represents it, our truth rang out and
stirred the hearts of millions who want
America to be what it truly can be. To be
or not to be is still the question, and as
Dylan said “the answer my friend is
blowing in the wind” you Mr. President
merely have to catch it, recapture it. Go
back to Philadelphia, to the root of its
meaning; loving from the greek philos.
Alice Walker once wrote that we
need a leader who loves us, and I think she
was saying not just US the United States
but we the people, all of us, regardless of
race, creed or color. While your political
gurus advise you for hours on how to
respond to the mantra “how are we better
off now than we were four years ago”, the
heart and soul of the matter that you must
exhort to the American people is “are we,
the people, a better people than we were
four years ago, or forty years ago, or 400
hundred years ago. That is the question,
for if we are not a better people after all
this time, all of our sweat and tears, all of
the blood that has been shed in the name
of democracy, than whose the better

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candidate doesn’t really matter. This
is the question, of course there are
some that will say this question is too
philosophical, too spiritual, I say that
it was the spirit of the American
revolutionaries and the philosophy of
the founding fathers that is the very
bedrock of this great nation. The spirit
of what America was destined to be is
what has been lost, that spirit is what
we must recaptured and to do this we
must not merely engage in political
ramble,.. we must go back to the
preamble;
“We the people of the United
States in order to form a more
Perfect Union and secure the
Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
and our posterity, do ordain and
establish this constitution for the
United States of America.”  

   

   

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Americans are consuming as much as trice the recommended
amount of salt in their food. Can something be done about it?
By THOMAS A. FARLEY

“The reason that nearly everyone
eats way too much sodium is that
our food is loaded with it, and
often where we don’t taste or
expect it.”  
 

apffc.org  
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How Conservatives

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Learned to

Prison Reform
 

—By Shane Bauer

 

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STATE
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
DC
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Mass.
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
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New Mexico
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North Carolina
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Ohio
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Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
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Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

PARTY
Republican
Republican
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Democratic
Democratic
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Republican
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Republican
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Republican
Republican
Republican
Democratic
Republican
Democratic
Republican
Republican
Republican
Republican
Republican
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Democratic
Republican
Republican

CHANGE
10%
1%
3%
2%
-27%
-17%
-16%
-10%
3%
-3%
-8%
3%
NA
7%
-4%
5%
6%
4%
-1%
-10%
-1%
-14%
5%
3%
0%
-4%
2%
-9%
-1%
-17%
-6%
-16%
-9%
3%
3%
-7%
2%
13%
-18%
-13%
-10%
-5%
-20%
-13%
-14%
-13%
-13%
8%
-11%
-16%

 

 
apffc.org  
apffc.org  

   

   

   

THE  
THE  UURBAN  
RBAN  PPERSPECTIVE  
ERSPECTIVE          

   

   

ISSUE  
ISSUE  118/May  
8/May  22014  
014  

38  

1
2
3
5

 
lorem  ipsum  dolor  

issue,  date  

by  Joseph  ‘Jazz’  Hayden  

How many of you have been following
the recent shift in the conversation
about reforming the "criminal justice
system"? Well, the conversation has
taken a distinct turn in a positive
direction. The era of "tough on crime"
seems to be coming to an end. Why?
Because "nothing exceeds like
excess".
In the wake of the civil rights victories
of the 50's and 60's, that virtually
eliminated de jure segregation and
finally gave African Americans access
to the ballot box, there was launched a
national pushback by
reactionary/conservative forces (for
every action there is a reaction) framed
as a war on crime and a war on drugs
that led to mass incarceration and the
disenfranchisement of millions of poor
people of color. The prison population
increased exponentially from 300,000 in
1970 to 2.4 million today with another 5

million under the control of the criminal
justice system. America had become a
virtual prison nation. With 5% of the
world's population America has 25% of
the worlds prisoners! For forty years the
tough on crime policies have driven this
growth and expansion of the prison
population. This appears to be coming to
an end because nothing exceeds like
excess.
There has been a policy shift from tough
on crime to being smart on
crime. Politicians from President
Obama, Erica Holder (attorney general),
Rand Paul, and the Governor of Texas
(the execution state) have all come out
for sweeping reforms of criminal justice.
Much of this call for reform is driven by
a cost benefit analysis and the damage
done to Americas international image as
the champion of Human and Civil
Rights

______________________________
Support for sweeping reforms is coming
from all sides driven by community activist
whose role in driving this shift to the right
side of history goes unheralded.
______________________________
Change comes and goes. The window of
opportunity is open (at the moment) and it is
time for those of us that are most impacted
to come up with a vision of what change
will look like. I am among the most
impacted population. I am an Abolitionist
when it comes to prisons. However, as long
as they must continue to exist I demand that
they be turned into institutions of vocational
and academic learning under the control of
the impacted communities. And, I demand
that the criminals justice system be brought
under the control of the communities that
it serves. Identify those in the community
that support these demands and support
them.
Jazz
Jhayden512@aol.com

_Bryan Stevenson
apffc.org  
apffc.org  

   

   

   

THE  UURBAN  
RBAN  PPERSPECTIVE  
ERSPECTIVE          
THE  

   

   

ISSUE  118/May  
8/May  22014  
014  
ISSUE  

39  

 
lorem  ipsum  dolor  

Urban Literature

Meat  Factory  (The  Crude  
Interchangeable  Realms  of  Pole  
Dancers,  Porn  Stars  and  Human  
Trafficking)  
By  Marvin  Ellison  
 
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Tales  from  the  Underground  Diva  Lounge  
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Take  a  trek  though  the  lives  of  four  women  and  the  events  
that  forever  change  their  lives.    Their  search  for  validation,  
security  and  love  sends  them  on  a  
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But…at  what  price?  
 

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This  is  a  must  read  
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Available  in  Paperback  for  $7.99  
And  $3.99  for  Kindle  at:  www.amazon.com  
 
 

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THE  URBAN  PERSPECTIVE      

Al-­‐Saadiq  Banks  ruled  the  
streets  for  years  .....  his  life  
-­‐-­‐-­‐  the  good,  the  bad  and  
everything  in  between,  
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Find  all  of  the  legendary  
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And  True  2  Life  
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ISSUE  18/May  2014  

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