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  • Government Name: Al-Tariq Gumbs
  • Register Number: 05674-078
  • Age:37
  • Time Served:13+ years
  • Home Town:Newark, NJ
  • Sentence:168 months
  • Current Charge:Racketeering (RICO), Conspiracy
  • Alias:King Sankofa (Formerly known as Killer Reek)
  • Release Date:2022
  • Prison Affiliation:Blood (Brim)
  • Circle of Influence:Emmanuel Jones, Lester Alford, Omar Austin, Tewhan Butler
  • Institution:FCI Memphis
  • I would like to show you the real me.

#RaiseUP A Letter To My Comrades

Residents of Newark, NJ, occupy the city on August 8, 2015 in an event organized by Mayor Ras Baraka and attended by Common to protest violence in the city. Photo Credit: Charles Love

Residents of Newark, NJ, occupy the city on August 8, 2015 in an event organized by Mayor Ras Baraka and attended by Common to protest violence in the city. Photo Credit: Charles Love

Peace to all the Indugus, especially those I left behind in Brick City:

I wish that this letter reaches you and your loved ones and finds y’all in the best of health, mentally and physically. As for myself, I continue to fight this up hill battle and duck these suckers who are trying to suck me dry.

With this letter I am trying to reach the brothers and sisters from my generation. I say comrade because it doesn’t matter who you are with, we are all fighting the same war. That war is for peace and freedom for our youth and ourselves. The ones who think it is cool to tell the youth to be killers and gang bangers should be taken out back and disciplined by the masses.

Now, let me first salute you for continuing to be real in a world that is made up of fake lips, hips, dudes, and chicks. For your strength I salute you with the universal greetings of a 21-gun salute. As one of the Generals in this war I feel it is my duty to reach out to you and try to ignite that fire within.  Many of these women and the government are making you think that isn’t something you need anymore out there to survive as long as you are ok with money. As long as you have a chick that is sexy and fucking you good, you are straight. We both know that isn’t the case with a real man. I seek to find a solution to our problems. We all know the problem. To continue to sit and dwell on it takes away from time and energy that could be directed toward the solution. It’s like knowing you have to cross the street but you continue to stand there and wonder what light to move on. It’s madness and it’s killing us.

I don’t sit here on some high horse talking down to anyone as if my change is better than yours or my struggle is easier or harder than yours. I am a man who continues to battle his inner-self to become the man he knows he is destined to be, but one who is afraid of becoming and this is the reason for the outreach out to y’all. With each other’s help our strength can multiply ten-fold. We must not only help each other, but the youth and our communities demands our effort and participation. We need the Generals to #raiseup and be the leaders they say they are.  I sit and watch these guys in prison talk about change and doing something with their lives, but I rarely hear them say they will return to society help fix their old neighborhoods or to become active with the kids. It’s always “I’m going home to get right” or something along those lines. They work out 24/7 in prison but can’t figure out how to utilize that energy out there. It could be as simple as every Saturday or Sunday to get some of the young men and women to go to the park and do some exercise, which would allow the kids to meet other kids and become cool with them and get their minds and bodies healthier. Something so simple may stop this one from fighting that one later on.

I have failed in my duty to play a major role in the lives of my kids, my little nephews, nieces, cousins, godchildren, and the youth as a whole. I understand the need to fix this seemingly never ending problem. It’s not going to be easy, but shit what in our lives has been easy? Guys in prison laugh because one minute I’m on some this save the world trip and the next I’m mad at the world. This is just my way of dealing with a lot of the pain and misunderstandings I have caused and been a part of. My anger is because no one seems to understand that things need to be hands on. You can’t continue to make excuses for the actions of your kids when you don’t even know your kids. Men, we need to raise our boys and show them how to be great men. It isn’t just for black men because the white men who love need to teach their kids that all men are equal in the eyes of God. This isn’t t just our fight, this fight needs to be fought on all fronts.

Only a true General knows how to turn an enemy into a friend and more yet, how to prevent making an enemy out of a potential friend. This is what I seek to get across to you. My comrades, many who may be Bloods, Crips, GDs [Gangster Disciples], VLs [Vice Lords], Latin Kings, and regular men and who love their community and may think we are fighting a losing battle: We need each other. We don’t ever have to meet. Our strength and unity is in our duty. That is our connection. There are times when a Marine never meets a Navy officer but they are united in their cause to protect this country. We need to be united as men to protect and uplift our youth, our communities and each other. We need to be united in the fight for our rights as humans. We need to be united in protecting our princesses and queens. We need to be united in not only strength but in fairness too. Our goal is to see our youth become great men and women and members of safe and prosperous communities and to make sure this country does not set itself back 100 years because of a few racists and idiots who think it is cool to be dumb or hateful.

My advice is to teach the raw history to every kid you meet who wants to learn. Never give up. When I was trying to reach my son and daughter, they told me that I preach too much. I laughed. If they only knew how I would have loved to have someone go so hard for me. I had to make the hard decision to let them touch the fire. The fire is real, but they don’t seem to think it will burn them. No matter how much you tell them, your job is to continue to tell them. Because when they burn themselves, the first person they turn to for first-aid is you. So use that time to help heal them physically and mentally. Help them to answer their own questions based off their mistakes. Feel me? We are supposed to be smarter than them, but we have allowed them to outsmart us when we know the answers to the questions. It’s crazy. When they tell you that you have forsaken your love for your hood or your set, you tell them no, this is what my history teaches me. Our history teaches us that we are here for our communities, our families, and our brothers and sisters. We are here to build not destroy. How could you say you are this and live by that but do everything the exact opposite? Trust me, I know the feeling of being told you have left your family. But as a leader I cannot continue to do things that make me a follower.

I reach out to you as a comrade, your ally and, above all things, your brother. When I sit here and talk to you as my brother I need to tell you that I know and understand that this fight is not going to be an easy one. My own son is locked up right now. He thought being like the old me was something that was going to make me proud.  Now he has to see that he was wrong. It’s sad that when we grew up, we thought we knew every fucking thing and then we did the same shit our fathers did. We left our lil ones out there to fend for themselves, or even if we’re out there, we do not play the part we should. We allow the mothers to dictate whether we see our lil ones. We must set the example of what a real man is. We cannot sit around and wait for something to happen, then come around with that I told u so shit. Na! We need to #raiseup and show these young ones how it is supposed to be. Stop playing with them because those streets aint playing with them. When I look at the mail list and a letter is handed to me by the Corrections Officer, my fucking heart breaks when it is a letter from my son. It’s fucking madness. In one of his letters my son told me that if he could be around me in prison he would do life. The shit broke me because how the fuck you could love someone this hard and not be around them to share time with them and help them grow into something special. He just wants to be around his father and my dumb ass wanted to be in those streets. Now this is my payback. I have no choice but to accept it for what it is and make sure it isn’t something that will be repeated. So you need to #raiseup and play the part u need to. If you think for one minute that there is something gangsta about raising a gang member or making sure your child is in those streets then you are one fucked up person and need to be removed from that child’s life. Word. Children deserve to live their own lives. Our children look up to us. Let’s not abuse their respect and admiration and do some bullshit with it. As a parent do your job and raise these kids before you can only see them once a week in a prison visit hall or are forced to bid that child farewell in a funeral parlor.

I hope this letter helps. I want to hear from y’all too. You can write me:

Al-Tariq Gumbs #05674-748
P.O. Box 34550
Memphis, TN 38184

Peace my people. The struggle continues. . . King Sankofa lives . . .

Shout out to my brother Shariff Amenhotep for giving me my first lesson as a black man and a General. With those lessons I have learned. I now seek to show you.

Knowledge is nothing if you do not pass it on.

Live from Lockdown is where I am. #RaiseUP and come build with men like me who want change.

Peace, love and respect to the strong; and may the weak understand that it isn’t personal, but there is no room for them in this car.


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