Last Dance and A Question of Freedom

By Dwayne Betts

{Dwayne Betts}


It's been a pleasure blogging here for the past week. The commenters here are intelligent and just crazy enough to make everything interesting. All that is to say my week has been a dope one. I learned that this blogging thing ain't no joke. Ta-Nehisi has to sure 'nuff prepare when he decides to post something and I commend him for keeping this joint thoughtful and provocative.

So, with my goodbye - I wanted to tell you about my last Thursday. Around six I got home with my son and there were two packages waiting for me. One was college degree, the other were two of the first copies of my memoir, A Question of Freedom. The book is about prison, literature and really how I got to the point where I can tell folks I blogged for Ta-Nehisi Coates. You can read a description of it here and you can check out my book tour schedule here, I'll be going to Chicago, Detroit, New York and a few other cities and states across the country. Come check me out if you can.

Point is - I was the first person in my family to go to prison and it crushed everyone. I wasn't but sixteen. Roughly twelve years later, I became the first person in my family to graduate from college. I did so as the commencement speaker at the University of Maryland. I spoke before 16,000 folks at the Comcast Center, I spoke before Leon Panetta. I'd be fronting if I said all of this hasn't been a dream come true - and that's why I pushed the justice issues and the education issues so hard. There is a list of folks who've been willing to help me and hear me out that's longer than I can name. Now this blog community is among that list - folks willing to treat my ideas and rants with respect and all the concern that makes the day's make sense. So, with that, thanks. Hope to see you in a room someone talking poetry, sports or politics over a drink or a plate of curried tofu.


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2009/07/last-dance-and-a-question-of-freedom/20630/