Good morning/evening, my name is Antonio Evans and I really appreciate being able to talk with you all, especially with so much going on in the community where you all are living. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but to tell you that there is more to life than gang banging, drugs, stealing, being in jail and so on.
I have a poem I’d like to read to you all, talking about myself and how I feel.
I am from a home full of the best amenities
with an in-ground swimming pool that exposes your identity.
I wonder with family’s as grand as mine,
what people look like when they seem behind
Behind the door of a room with four walls
looking out of the window as I watch the rain fall
I see in the visitation the pain and joy on my family’ face,
the pain to see me locked away but the joy to see me in a peaceful display
I wish they knew how much I changed, how much I really care,
with an opportunity so big and bright no wonder they had to stare
I hear the talk of inmates hoping to go home someday,
as I sit and listen I often feel the need to pray
From men who told me that your pain is temporary but your pride is forever
I am Antonio Evans, looking forward to doing better
I wrote this as a way of understanding myself a little more, hoping to stop all of my negative thoughts. Things like how can I hurt this person or that. And every time I get thoughts like that I repeat the poem. I don’t want to see any of you in that situation. And the reason for that is because I was always seeking attention that I felt I was lacking or needed.
When I was 13 or 14 years old people used to say to me, “You look just like yo daddy.” Then it went to "You sound just like yo daddy," until the very end when someone said “You gone be just like yo daddy.” So from there on I spent my whole time keeping from being like him. And look where it got me.
I know you might be thinking that not doing/being like him is good right, but no it’s not. My daddy beat women but didn’t sell drugs so here I am, a young dealer but no woman beater. So I’m telling you now, if following in y’all parents footsteps is what you want, make sure it’s good. Something you’re going into and what seems hard can become just as easy in due time. Just give it a minute, trust me.