By Lucius Gantt
The barbeque smoke permeated the Black community air on Martin Luther King’s birth date in 2012.
Some people golfed, some were boating and many people participated in symbolic marches where they locked arms on one side with closet Klansmen and on the other side with neo-Nazis and walked a couple of blocks singing “We Shall Overcome”!
Poems were recited, speeches were read and sermons were preached on MLK Day but very few people expressed a desire to do what Martin Luther King did, stand up, speak out and fight for equal rights and justice.
Dr. King was indeed a great man and you can read the other columnists and news writers to read the same things they write year after year.
In addition to being a good guy, Martin Luther King was also a convict! Dr. King was arrested multiple times during his battles for civil rights and some of his most memorable letters and remarks were made in the Birmingham jail and perhaps some other correctional facilities.
This column was written to tell people currently housed in a prison inside of a prison that you too can aspire to be a great person like Martin Luther King.
The Gantt Report is the self-proclaimed Number One column in the “Big House”! I say that because I don’t know any other writer that gets as much correspondence from people behind bars.
Brothers and sisters, I want you to know I love you and I’m with you but I can’t get you out of jail. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a bail bondsman and I’m not an escape artist that can break you out like Tom Cruise does in Mission Impossible movies!
What I can do is prove that you can improve your life and your community once you are released from jail.
Don’t worry about being a “felon” or a convict. Not only was Dr. King a wonderful man that was periodically jailed, all of my heroes were convicts, so to speak.
Jesus Christ was in jail, Moses was incarcerated, Sampson, Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Andrew Young, John Lewis, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Fannie Lou Hammer, Cynthia McKinney, Stokely Carmichael, Patrice Lumumba, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Steve Biko and I could go on and on and on!
The point I’m making here is that it is never too late to change your life and your community.
If you’re incarcerated, you can’t barbeque or go skiing or sailing but you can make a decision to be like Martin Luther King.
You can get out of jail and begin to make better choices and better decisions. We all can keep love in our hearts and fire in our bellies.
Martin Luther King Jr. is dead and God has called him home to The Land of Plenty. But you’re still here and can still make a difference in your family and in your neighborhood.
Everybody in America that doesn’t have any money is a convict. You are trapped in a capitalist economic system and you can only get out if you get paid!
God bless the history and legacy of Martin Luther King and God bless our family, friends and neighbors that are behind bars because of false accusations and wrongful convictions.
To the bad guys in jail, all I can tell you is when you get out of the slammer, be good! (Buy Gantt’s book “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” on line or at any major bookstore. Contact Lucius at www.allworldconsultants.net)