Prison Letters: An Inmate Writes HHCF
You never know how what you do will affect the world. You can only try from your heart with the best intentions and the best plan you can devise and let things unfold as history sees fit...The HHCF was basically an idea I had held in my mind since the 1980's (I know, I'm getting up there). I have spoken at San Quentin Penitentiary, Vacaville Penitentiary and DVI. All of those visits volunteering to help prisoners changed me forever. But it was a visit to a juvenile hall in San Francisco that really germinated the seed and inspired the formation of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation. After visiting a few juve's I decided to never go back to prisons. Mainly because I felt like Frederick Douglass that "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. "
I still feel that way for the most part. But then I got a letter from an inmate who read the story about us in the San Jose Mercury. I will not tell you his name (we will call him SJA) , but I felt compelled to share some of his thoughts with you here: