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  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/letter-kids-street-gang/

    Letter to the Kids: Be Better Than Me

    Now before I begin I want to salute the youth who read this because that shows that you’re willing to listen and try to find other ways to deal with whatever you’re going through. For that you have my unwavering respect, from one to the next. My name is Al-Tariq Gumbs and in the streets my name was Killa Reek. I was and probably am still considered one of the worst street-gang members to come out of New Jersey. At the age of 15 I was locked up for robbery, guns and all types of...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/closing-the-door-gangs-prison-and-a-new-life/

    Closing the Door: Gangs, Prison and a New Life

    Just a few months ago I sat in my cell looking ahead to the day when I will return to society. And, while envisioning new life, being around family and freely living without the fear of looking over my shoulder, I had to honestly ask myself am I really ready? Physically, the answer was easy. But I knew I second guessed myself mentally. After spending the past sixteen years as an active gang member, I was stuck straddling the fence. Here in the Challenge Program at United States Penitentiary...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/the-murder-of-killa-reek/

    The Murder of Killa Reek

    Peace this is Al-Tariq Gumbs and I’m alive and well. I have to take this one post down because people have misread the post as if I died. I’m ok. My point of writing it was to shed my old self and move forward with my life as a new man. I did not mean to cause this much of a problem. In this case, ignorance isn’t bliss, so I apologize for any hurt or confusion I may have caused to family and friends and to people who didn’t get to make it to lunch. lol I’m...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/we-are-all-struggling/

    We Are All Struggling

    MY ‘hood, MY community, MY environment, a village that no longer raises the child. MY neighbor doesn’t feel for the child deserted in the streets left standing with eyes full of hunger. Uncompassionate and ignorant to a truth that our struggles are the same. YOUR home may be decorated in prettier paint. YOUR lawn may be freshly manicured, while my weeded grass is unkempt. Does this make you better? Does this justify the slamming of your door in the face of the future? Do we not...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/leadership-is-often-misunderstood/

    Leadership is Often Misunderstood

    Where are our leaders? Why are we not leading our people toward more positive outcomes in life? Understanding the direction our generation is heading, someone must step in and begin to lead toward a brighter future. Right now our future, the kids, are being led by drugs, drug dealers, gangs, rappers, and gangster movies; all of which are leading them to early graves or incarceration. We are losing! We are losing our grip on reality. At this rate, all we have is a gloomy future. Our kids are...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/at-the-end-of-the-day/

    At the end of the day

    As you lay in your bed drifting off into a peaceful slumber, a question floats into your chambers of thought: “Have I moved closer to the goals I’ve set in life?” Wafting closer and closer into your consciousness until it is the only thing you see, it knocks on your mental door with fierce aggression. Jumping from the bed, you check the clock next to your bed; you’ve barely slept an hour… For years you’ve promised to push your life in the directions you...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/the-clutches-of-prisons-and-penitentiaries/

    The clutches of prisons and penitentiaries

    I’ve long ago been affected by the clutches of prisons and penitentiaries. Be it as a child when I wondered about the place that held friends and family for months, years and sometimes life. Today, I am not allowed to wonder. Close acquaintances we have become. A uncomely familiarity. Now, my children are left to wonder, left confused. Where have I gone? What is this place that dims the light which is known to glimmer around family, especially around the holidays. We are all...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/asphalt-assassination/

    Asphalt Assassination

    Successfully resisting the many evils that are carefully disguised until the need for exposure is awakened. The adverse articles of ammunition thrown at the youth with the intent to assassinate. Powerful. Effective. Enough force to send even Hercules crashing into the asphalt. Yet, unequipped to the extent one’s faculties cannot overcome. Stumbling blocks are like stray bullets, they make targets of whomever. Shots fired. Obstacles thrown your way. How do you plan to overcome the...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/from-then-to-now/

    From Then to Now

    “SEE YOURSELF FOR THE GREATNESS YOU WERE MEANT TO BE” Growing up, there was a time I wanted to be an artist. I was very good at graffiti, and my tracing opened doors for other forms of art. I would do still-life drawings, portraits etc., but it seemed as if I was at my best whenever I was depressed. Truthfully, I didn’t see myself with a career in art. I used to dream of being in the NBA, alhough football has always been my fave sport. A few run-ins with the law discouraged...READ MORE

  • http://www.livefromlockdown.com/man-defined-part-2/

    Man Defined (Part 2)

    What we know today is that men have been misguided, schooled that masculinity can only be defined through aggressive behavior or one’s inability to attune. In all actuality a man reaches deeper than the physical for truth. A man is defined in his deeds and not solely by spoken word or acts of belligerence. A man is righteous in his actions and responsible with every thought. A man is fruitful and enhancing, progressive to say the least. A man is selfless as he journeys, understanding that...READ MORE


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