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  • Kormányzati név: Samuel Karim
  • Nyilvántartási szám: R10346
  • Életkor:43
  • Idő szolgált:20 év
  • Home Town:Chicago, IL
  • Mondat:LIFE
  • Aktuális töltési:Gyilkosság, Gyilkossági kísérlet, Sexual Assault
  • Álnév:Álnév
  • Release Date:N / A
  • Prison Munkahely:Prison Munkahely
  • Circle of Influence:Kenneth Key
  • Intézmény:Stateville Büntetésvégrehajtási Center
  • It feels good to be an engine of change in hopes of leaving the world a better place than the one I was born into.

Samuel Karim: Who I Am

20 years of incarceration- Samuel Karim of Chicago, Illinois

20 év bebörtönzés- Samuel Karim of Chicago, Illinois

Digging deep in the complex soil that is me, Samuel Karim, understanding why I am who I am– that is my legacy.

I was born during the 1970s into a Muslim home with its own complexities. My father was a minister of the Nation of Islam. I was born in Chicago. I have lived in Saint Louis, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Gary, Indiana. I have attended around nineteen different schools. I really never had any sort of foundation except for violence.

Even while I would love to say wonderful things about my childhood, I am left only with the truth. My father turned into a bleeding alcoholic with abusive ways. On top of it all, my community was full of drug dealers, pimps, rapists, deadbeat dads, murderers, robbers, gang bangers, child molesters, womanizers, and others. It was the school of hard knocks, and the only way to really make it in this life was to become my deadly reality.

I can remember as a child seeing my first dead person on a sidewalk outside the Hawthorne Movie Theater at the Hawthorne Mall in California. And I learned that night to mind my own business when I saw things going on. The effects of that night still haunt me. I remember having knives in school as well as knives in the County jail. I have spent my whole life fighting and being abusive to others, not at all understanding that I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And while suffering from PTSD, my whole experience on earth has been spoiled because I had no help with understanding who I am and what I want to become as a human being.

Once I understood that I was not a so-called monster and that I was a hurt person living with a mental disease and acting out of pain, it became clear to me that I needed to be something more than what people thought I would be or was. So I started to think of the world in a different way. I thought about how I could be more selfless and still work on myself as a person.

Then I met a selfless person, Dr. Burroughs, in prison and she taught me how to think about life in a different way. It’s crazy that she didn’t know me from a can of paint, but she took a real interest in me as a person, and it was as if I came to her class every week a better person than the previous week. She was like a second mother to me. Then I lost her, and I was again faced with what to do. That was when I faced myself and knew that in order for me to change I had to be able to depend on myself plus be sick and tired of my current set of circumstances.

I learned that day once you get sick and tired of being last in line, you have to be willing to put the hard work into yourself. Most of all I had to be disciplined in every aspect of my life. Another strong point to fixing myself: I had to change the way I thought about everything I ever thought I knew.

One thing I started to understand was that I had years upon years of conditioning to become the person I was. What’s really upsetting about that way of thinking is that I thought I was thinking normally. But the reality, my wrongs were right and my rights were wrongs.

So I understood at this stage that I needed to have some tools as well as give myself a better life. Once I was off Death Row I understood that I had to let go of what I was and become something that my experience, environment and education have ill prepared me to become. I started with getting my GED. Then I was taking a House of Healing class that helped me to see the pain body as well as dealing with grief and the pains of my childhood and teenage years. Even more importantly, I took on my shortcomings as a parent and I started to take Inside Out Dad class to become the father I needed to be. Then I took a course outside the prison: Crimanon. In this time I was accepted to Indiana University from prison, but I didn’t have a proxy to see my degree out. Then while dealing with all this, I found a starter kit to begin to deal with my mental health by way of anger management, grief class and critical thinking.

As things moved along, I started to write more. I wrote The Truth Hurts, Vol. 1 Book of Poems, then I wrote Sam and Lady’s Big Adventure, a book for children. Then I wrote a few essays entitled “Change in Here”. I have been working with others to pull together Iamkidculture.org and “Stop the Cycle” to work with at-risk youth to give our kids a chance to overcome their urban hell.

It feels good to work alongside other men to pool our skill-sets for the greater good.

As I look back, Azt kérdezem magamtól, why did I ever join a gang? I believe on the one hand I always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and on the other hand I just wanted to be loved as well as fit in with the fake in-crowd. But one good thing that has come from that street life is that I know the language to speak to the youth so that I’m not just talking down to them. I am able to relate to the lifestyle of hustling, slanging and banging.

My goals now are to become a force for change under this Hood PTSD so that I am able to help others who come from the same place I do. I cannot lie; it feels good to be an engine of change in hopes of leaving the world a better place that the one I was born into.

  

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