Stay Focused, Stay Free Tip #21

Talk It Into Existence

In the beginning of my second year of high school, my then girlfriend and I established a bet that whoever earns the highest GPA (Grade Point Average) in the first semester gets bragging rights. Although my girlfriend wasn’t as serious about the bet, I didn’t take the it lightly. Everyday I touted on how I was going to claim victory. I can’t remember one conversation during that time where my prediction of winning wasn’t mentioned. I teased her about it everyday, I even dragged our peers in on our academic competition. About three months later when the report cards rolled out, not only was my GPA higher than my girlfriend’s grade point average, I had the highest GPA (3.5) among 9th and 10th grade students. As I received my certificate for having the highest GPA in my class, my girlfriend and peers all gave me my props and the right to brag. I bragged, bragged, and bragged throughout the next semester.

As of date, my then girlfriend, who is the mother of my son, Latif Jr., can bear witness to this testimony. One thing I know for sure about life, regardless if it’s positive or negative, if you consistently speak on it, it’ll likely become a reality. I’ve known this practice to be true for a long time; however, it wasn’t until a few years ago where I began putting 100% confidence into this exercise. It is God’s work at the end of the day, though. Therefore, look at it this way: if you continue to pray for something, He (God) will eventually answer your prayers. You may not get it right then and there, but sooner or later He’s going to grant your prayers. It’s that simple. Keep on talking it into existence!

SFSF Behind This Wall News (January)

Cash App over JPay

Have you ever wondered why your incarcerated loved one asks for Cash app?

In the Virginia Department of Corrections, the appropriate way for an inmate to receive funds is through JPay.com; however, some inmates would have their loved ones send money to someone else, using apps other than JPay in order to transfer funds for multiple reasons – and most of the time it’s not for canteen.

The Uncut Truth, Vol. 11

Tired of Being Tired

Do you know how the “bucket of crabs” saying goes? Imagine you’re a crab trapped in a bucket of full of crabs, and you’re the only crab trying to get out. That’s how my life feels in prison — I’m tired.

Every morning when I wake up, I am disgusted with my current circumstances. The thought itself of being incarcerated is like a prison within a prison. The majority’s mentality is not free, but more so depressing. Vibes of negativity lingers in the dusty, stuffy air because the stagnant minds of my peers are filled with counterproductive thoughts, in other words, distorted thinking. Positivity has no place inside this dark environment, it rarely comes around like a leap year or a distant cousin. I’m tired.

Stay Focused, Stay Free Person of the Month – Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott

For January 2024 it is Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott.

After 35 years of educating students in several private schools in Southern California, Dr. Sharon N. Elliott put down her last dry erase marker and officially retired. The Compton native and BIOLA graduate, however, had no plans on settling down. Having started 4 companies which she worked on the side while she taught, in 2020, Sharon pursued another passion full-time and founded AuthorizeMe® Literary Agency, which as of date represents more than 50 clients across the country.

Sharon, who is author of nearly 20 books, has steadily climbed the ladder of success. In the 2021 edition of Publishers Weekly magazine, the devoted Christian made the Top 100 Literary Agents list, ranking as high as No. #8. If that’s not impressive, her most recent project, Didn’t See That Coming: When How They’re Living Not How You Raised Them, won the 2023 Christian Book Market Book of the Year award. Furthermore, Sharon’s second release from her children’s series, Mommy Cried This Morning, won Honorable Mention in the 2023 AWSA Golden Scrolls Awards (Advanced Writers & Speakers Association).

Stay Focused, Stay Free Tip #21

A 6-year old boy shot his 1st grade school teacher.


What are your thoughts?! Disturbing to say the least, right?! Unfortunately, as you may already know, this really happened. Last year in Newport News, Virginia, a 6-year old Black boy shot his 1st grade teacher at Richneck Elementary. From what I have gathered since following this sad story, the child allegedly stole his mother’s handgun. The mother’s gun, which was legally registered, was in her purse on top of a dresser before the child told authorities that he climbed onto a drawer and grabbed it. The mother, however, said she thought the gun was secured at home.

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July 20, 2023
Time: Morning

Richmond, Va. (WRIC) – A person is now dead after being shot and killed in Richmond’s Fairfield Court neighborhood.

Richmond officers were called to respond to a shooting in the 2100 block of Newbourne Street at 7:21 a.m. Thursday morning. Upon arrival, they found a man who had been shot.

The man was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards confirmed a homicide investigation is underway.

Source: WRIC 8 News

Stay Focused, Stay Free Poetically #2

“UNITED PEOPLE OF AMERICA”

“Injustice is the opposite of justice,
refer to Webster’s dictionary,
the idea to strategically correct this,
have you ever needed more clarity?,
fight for our right,
this is bigger than you,
but make sure it’s right,
because nothing beats the truth,
inequality is the opposite of equality,
review your reference,
understanding, community leadership, and inspiring qualities,
not negative nor violent responses,
justice and equality starts with us,
overcoming stereotype expectations,
omitting the use of you know what,
and seeking for higher education,
striving to be great,
teaching hate to love,
working as one for humanity’s sake,
is justice for all.”

Stay Focused, Stay Free Tip #20

“Is Inequality Systemic Racism?”

“Why don’t we have laptops?” was what I curiously asked my science teacher at John F. Kennedy high school in Richmond, Virginia. “Well … I have no idea,” my teacher said as her head movement matched her disappointment. It was an open-ended question in which she didn’t have an answer for. One of the greatest fears a teacher faces is not being able to help his/her student. Similar to my cousin’s experience, who is a former RPS teacher, this is one of the many frustrations I’ve witnessed first hand.

Given the thought, weighing heavy on one’s mind, leads to a different subject that raises the question of government leadership. However, as complicated as it sounds I have a two-word theory: systemic racism. For example, the capital of Virginia education’s budget is handsomely lower than its neighboring counties. Richmond Public Schools — whose minorities account for 48.7 percent of its population (U.S. Census Bureau) — have less funds than both Henrico County Public Schools and Chesterfield County Public Schools, where white students occupy more than 60% classroom seats.

Stay Focused, Stay Free Poetically #1

The Vanity Slave vs. The Man of God

We all know the man suffering on a plantation, congested with toxic plants and poisonous snakes,
chained by golden ropes embedded with diamonds,
clothed with brands named after his false idol,
entrapped in a maze with no knowledge to escape,
and though he’s sheltered and equipped with food and water, he chases a fantasy of riches,
not to obtain independence but the mansion that sits before his closed eyes.

Stay Focused, Stay Free Tip #19

Gun Safety Locks

Last year in Newport News, Virginia, a African-American 6-year-old student at Richneck Elementary School shot his teacher. In a matter of days, the incident became a national headliner. School officials were warned about the little boy having a gun on the premise, but the child was clean when they searched him. However, the child made it into his classroom with a firearm and shot his teacher. Fortunately, the substitute teacher only suffered a non-life threatening injury and survived.

A 1st grade student shot his teacher!!! What is the world coming to?! Why didn’t they find the gun on the child when they searched him?! I don’t want to believe that the child knew they were coming search him and hid it. I simply can’t fathom a 6-year-old being that conscious and deceptive.