How I Went From Prep School to Prison

Published on by The Inquirer

Being accepted into Exeter allowed me to escape my violent, crack-ridden neighborhood in Brooklyn. And yet, I somehow ended up in prison like so many other young black men.

I never dreamt about being in prison during my incarceration. Every once in a while, I dreamt that one or more of my friends (from inside) and I were hanging out at one of the places I missed and remembered—New York City, the Exeter campus, the recording studio. But to my recollection, I never had a dream that took place in prison. The most frequent destination in the dream state was the house in which I spent my adolescence, on Legion Street in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Brownsville, with the help of the times (i.e. the proliferation of crack cocaine in every major city in the US during the mid-1980s), acquired an Enter-at-Your-Own-Risk reputation. The so-called luxuries that were afforded to drug dealers (cars, jewelry, and clothes) came with a price—the seemingly inexorable final destinations of prison and/or violent death.

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