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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sistas of the Struggle

By Rhonshawn Jackson

I want to take this opportunity to give a 21 Gun Salute! to all of the women around the world that take time out to support the incarcerated men on this planet by writing us letters, coming to visit us, taking care of the children we left behind, accepting our many collect calls, supporting us financially, emotionally and spiritually, fighting for us in these courtrooms, advocating for us within and outside these prison walls, putting up with our selfishness and our verbal/mental/emotional disrespect and for doing everything that you can to make us feel less lonely and forgotten.

I want to thank all of you sistas and I call all of you beautiful, strong women sistas because you sistas are all connected and intertwined in the same struggle. On behalf of all of the real men that are locked down in prisons all across the United States, I want to tell all of you beautiful strong women that we appreciate you! We appreciate the perfume you spray on the letters to us just so that we can have some sweet smells in our cells and living areas, instead of the smells of death, misery, despair and hopelessness we are surrounded with on a daily basis. We appreciate the extra effort you put into doing your hair, nails and makeup for the visit you have scheduled with us. We appreciate every time you accept our collect calls even though those calls are financially draining yet somehow you always find a way to get the money needed so we can stay in contact with you and our children.

We appreciate the strength you display when forced to be a single parent due to our absence, and the way you step up and make sure that our children are properly fed and clothed. We appreciate the ingenuity and dedication it takes to make sure the bills are paid so that our children and you are not forced into being homeless due to our not being there to provide for our family. We appreciate your dedication in vehemently advocating for our freedom and innocence when we are placed on Death Row or given Life Sentences. We appreciate your generosity and the sacrifices you make on a continual basis to make sure we have money on our accounts to buy commissary or that you have money for gas or transportation to come visit us. We appreciate the forgiveness that you continually extend to us for our flaws, faults, disrespect, selfishness, ignorance, unfaithfulness, disloyalty and pain that we constantly put you through. We appreciate all the big and little things you do just to show us that we are not alone in this struggle, the fight for our freedom and liberation, and we’re grateful that we do have someone in our corner that loves us and cares about our well-being.

From the bottom of my heart, to all of the women that support us, please know that you are appreciated!  Words will never be able to fully express the euphoria and feelings of self-worth that your every action and essence gives us while we are in this sad state of despair and loneliness. And I just want to thank each and every one of you beautiful women for showing us compassion, care, understanding, loyalty, dedication and love on a daily basis. We greatly appreciate each and every one of you women!

When we men are out there in the streets doing dirt and getting ourselves into trouble, we seldom think about the pain that we cause you, or the collateral damage we will leave behind in our absence. I’m not innocent in any of this, which is why I wanted to step up and apologize for my actions or inactions, which may have caused the women in my life pain or loneliness due to my absence. I love women with a passion and in my heart I would’ve never purposely chosen this route if I’d understood the gravity of my actions and the depth of pain I would be causing women due to my ignorance.

So, on behalf of all of the real men in this struggle, women we love you and we pray that you can find it in your hearts to forgive us for our ignorance and for forgetting to put you first. We love you! And once again, we appreciate each and every one of our beautiful strong sistas who support us in this struggle!

Rhonshawn Jackson GW4530
Smart Communications/PADOC
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg. FL 33733
My name is Rhonshawn Jackson, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am fighting to give back a life sentence and while doing so, in my free time, I study civil law and I write poetry for my brothas and sistas in this struggle. I write from the heart and I’m motivated by our pain, needs, inequality, injustices, poverty, and the dehumanizations that those incarcerated in prisons around the world are forced to endure and I write for my brothas and sistas on the streets born with nothing that are fighting everyday to find a way out of this misery. Y'all keep me strong and y’all keep me going, so when I write, I am motivated by the oppressed to paint a picture through my words that will capture the essence of our struggle!

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