Most people remember the first scary movie that terrified them afterward for
nights on end. The feeling of the nightmare is so haunting that it could send you into emotions of panic from the night-light on the wall.

Adults who’ve served time behind bars, our nightmares make Elm Street seem like Sesame Street. The constant fear of either being re-incarcerated or reliving the trauma of incarceration is a scary movie that never ends, and it has a name — Prison Traumatic Stress Disorder. …

Photo Courtesy of Washington Post

I am a Black man who has had more than his own share of life’s challenges, some self-inflicted. But I’m more than the poor decisions I made more than 20 years ago that landed me in federal prison for nearly 14 years. I am a leader, advocate, and landlord. I love spending time with family, though my nephews, eight and ten years old respectively, always beat me in NBA 2k. …

16 Ways White America Can Revive Opportunities for Blacks.

The Soiling of Old Glory, Boston, 1976

With national protests screaming across our country over the killing of (more) unarmed Black people, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my experiences with racism, as far back as early childhood.

The first time I remember being aware that I was Black was when I was 8-years-old. I stayed the night at the house of my great-uncle who lived in Black Rock, a section of Bridgeport, CT that bled into the predominately White town of Fairfield. I was playing hide-&-seek with a group of white kids I befriended in the neighborhood. I remember hiding behind a trash…

Photo courtesy of Global News

Over the holiday weekend, millions of Americans emerged from our coronavirus cocoons to pursue some semblance of normalcy. We logged out of Zoom meetings, and some went to beaches, had cookouts, and crowded restaurants.

While some people wore masks, a more insidious contagion continued to plague Black America in ways that render PPE useless — White people weaponizing the privilege of their race. We saw this through the release of two videos more disgusting than a person not covering her cough or washing his hands. In one, a White woman walking her dog in New York’s Central Park gets into…

Yesterday, like 84 million other Americans, I kicked back to watch Super Bowl LIV (that’s 54 for you non-Roman numeral readers). My mom had all the game-related trappings ready — wings, chips, tacos, and ginger ale (cause she knows I love me some Canada Dry).

Then, in between an “I love you” #GirlDad text to my 21-year-old, checking Facebook notifications, and wiping off barbeque sauce from the wings that I dripped on my white t-shirt, a familiar voice redirected my attention to the TV.

I’m free to hug my family…I’m free to start over!

It was the voice of my…

As you are reading this article from the palm of your hand or on the screen of your computer, take a trip with me down memory lane. Think back to when you were in college, or younger, or not as socially refined as you are now and may have broken the law. Whether the crime was in the benign class of a misdemeanor or a felony, think about how the entire trajectory of your life would’ve been altered if you were caught in the act of say, joy-riding in a stolen car, or purchasing drugs, or having a bar fight…

Racially disparate treatment has permeated the United States criminal justice system throughout history. During the Jim Crow era, Blacks were legally barred from voter rolls in several southern states and were therefore barred from serving on juries. In this era of racial strife, the police, prosecution, defense attorneys, judges and jurors were almost always white. Cross-racial mis-identifications, forced confessions, all-white juries, and blatant racism led to the wrongful convictions of countless innocent black people, The Innocence Project iterated. …

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Now imagine being known by that one mistake — regardless of what you’ve done to take responsibility or make amends. You have to write it on the top of every application for employment or housing you ever fill out — for the rest of your life.

Labels are powerful, and our society has plenty for people who have been through the criminal justice system and have the record to show for it: Felon. Offender. Convict. Criminal.

Even inmate casts a dark shadow in its rightful context. An inmate is just a number

Louis L. Reed, LADC, CAC. JLUSA Fellow| Forbes Coach| Reentry Expert| HuffPost Contributor| Change Agent| Believer

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

These forty-five words encompass the most basic of American rights: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of assembly, and the right of petition. But what do those words mean? …

Louis L. Reed

#cut50 National Organizer| Forbes Coach| Criminal Justice Reform Strategist| Award-Winning Author| Believer

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