There were nothing but positive responses to my email last week critiquing Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow and the real reason why there are a lack of black men and black fathers especially. So I wanted to go a step further and ask a group of inmates at our Sunday Service on Sept. 4, 2011, the majority of which were repeat drug (sell, possession, and use) offenders, what they believed was the reason so many black men were in jail and also the lack of fathers in the black community. I even read to them the first couple of pages from Chapter 5 of Michelle’s book. It was probably the most outspoken I’ve seen the inmates as many hands immediately went up asking to be heard. Surprisingly, not one of them attributed the shortcomings to racism or to the efforts of mass incarceration or even to corrupt police. While they did agree that there were too many men of color in prison, to my amazement they overwhelmingly attributed it to themselves. One brother summed it up especially well… “Every time I come to prison I start going to church, reading the Word, going to Bible study, and doing the right thing…but when I leave prison its just like when most people leave church on Sunday…I leave God right there.” Remember to take God with you!!
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. – Luke 9:23