I Am NOT a Juvenile Delinquent Cover

I Am NOT a Juvenile Delinquent

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Praise...

The experience of hearing their stories changed me, altered my perception of the world and make it clearer, somehow more important. The words were not my own, but they spoke for me... these young women helped me imagine myself as someone I could never have been, someone I could never have dreamed of being. They helped me realize how much of ourselves we really shared... I was confronted with my own insecurities and each narrative helped me appreciate the lessons and strengths that can come out of what appear to be the worst situations

Aushlee Cummins
Senior at the Hotchkiss School

Excerpts...

WHERE I COME FROM

Where I come from
fathers don’t come back
where I come from
people die every day
where I come from
little girls always get raped
where I come from
you hear gunshots every hour
where I come from
people die in front of your face
where I come from
newborns are HIV positive
where I come from
teenage boys and girls are smoking crack
where I come from
little girls sell their bodies.

-Shonte

MY KITCHEN TABLE

my kitchen table is the hangout.
we don’t eat there but we express ourselves there
How many kids does so and so have?
How many times have the bill collectors called?
How much is the phone bill?
that’s the food on my kitchen table
we eat the gossip in the air
we eat our wisdom at the kitchen table
not the wisdom of books and school
but the wisdom of the projects,
welfare dick, fast cars, drug money--
our kitchen table is as well-rounded
as if the Mafia were there
fuck my kitchen table
there’s nothing there to eat
I’ve been eating the same shit there  forever
I want different foods at my kitchen table
no gossip or shit from the streets
I want the food of books and school
how to make it
I want to digest the food at my kitchen table
let it move through my system
return again at the table
fuck the food at the projects, welfare dick,
fast cars and drug money
I want some new food at my kitchen table

-Tarray Daniels