A history of this site’s different phases:
Only1gang.wordpress.com began as a mouthpiece for an ex-con who, prior to release from prison, had a vision for a redemptive future in addressing a need for alternatives to gangs. He had a wonderful vision of a community-based resource center for urban youth and a firm establishment in the community-strengthening precepts of his Muslim faith. This blog is dedicated to the spirit of that vision.
From beginning until now
For years the Only1Gang.wordpress.com saw the theme of “only one gang” expressed in the comparison of the revelations of God throughout time in the light of the New Revelation, checking in occasionally to correspond with current readings from the Christian lectionary.
The blog served another purpose when other writers were invited to form a writer’s collective, posting drafts for review and revision.
Only1Gang.wordpress.com now reverts closer to the original impulse, the voice representing a calling from prison answered by a drive to support the Free Book Project, with a specific drive to get books into prisons and other places without internet.
The newsletter and the website will direct “how can I help” inquiries to contribute to the Free Book Project via the New Knowledge Library. Inmates, I find, would be happy to get gifts in kind in the form of stamps and stationery.
This blog site and the newsletter aim to keep up with many contacts while limiting the involvement with any of them. They are located on Facebook and Instagram where loved ones post their requests for penpals. There is so much graft in the prison industry, including the support systems for electronic communication like phone and internet, that I feel it best for my own sake to completely boycott all such involvement.
Posts on this site
Many of the posts are personal narrative; subsequent submissions from each contributor will be added as comments on their own original post. Early submissions are posted here and here. Light editing is to be expected, with free license to all ownership of the content, by-line indicating acknowledgement of free use policy.
The Phoenix motif
“Rise from the ashes”–the drive to survive as a race, embodied as resilience, grit and determination to make any return from the most devastating circumstances.