An angry and disturbed voice now echoes from the past and from behind prison walls.

jailHere is an “essay” that a prisoner of the El Reno Penitentiary left in the prison’s library some years ago. I have typed it verbatim.  I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

To Allah do I submit and only he do I hear.  God and he alone do I serve to him along do we beseech for aid:

1. The rules of Islam a Muslam don’t have anlything to do with any white man or white woman so call whites.  We only need and will have the true beauty which is Black, because we believe all womens come from the queen which is black womans.

2. 85% of our sickness comes from eating swine flesh.  10%wjoy as 10 per cent come from being around the so call white people.  Also the other 5 per cent came from smoking

Fort Reno Penitentiary
Fort Reno Penitentiary

3. In the name of the almighty God Allah, I bear witness that thou word shall be kept we the follows of Muhammad will not   eat swine flush nor will he be in the Company of the Devil.  which is so call white nor will we have any indesent sex act with any homoseiual, not even the blue eyed snake of a woman so call white. for black is beauty and white is unclean.  Brother lison to me a white woman only give you bug in your body and you will die before yout time.  They hide our true beauty from us our black wemens are the best in anything looks, loving and being sincere,  the fool that desire a homoseual, expressely a white man or that so call white woman has no knowledge of self God and the Devil and mentialy dead because black is the source which all color derive from why should you want your own chile than  if you want anything call white people you made them they come from you.  They don’t do any indesent thing to shortim your life, just look and think they are better than me but I: expessially picked by Allah hisself so I am the best at anything.  Brother any thing white is no good so don’t accomany the devil or his ugly woman, you think you want something that stinkb ad a skunk of awoman that use some of everything to smell good and look better but the blakc woman don’t need anything in her face to attract anyone she is natural beautiful she don’t carry no bad odor like the Jesibell, who small bader than she did when she went in the bathtub and a white punk known as a homosexual, he smell like a do so take the word of your Ikey and stay in Good health, As-Salaam ala; kum

Notes:  From the paternal side of my family, an in-law provided this letter.  His mother, Myra McVay, had been the librarian at the El Reno, Oklahoma Penitentiary for some years where she taught many inmates to read, educate themselves, enroll in college courses, and earn their GEDs. 

Her remarkable career earned her the respect of many of the inmates who always called her “Mrs. McVay.”  At her funeral one of the inmates paid tribute to a woman they considered “our mother.”  She would not have considered this “essay” a form of respect under any conditions. But she found it and kept it, knowing that the voice in this letter was not just the ramblings of a single mind, but the voice our nation would hear in the years to come.

This is the hardest piece of writing I have ever tried to type.  I decided not to type on my new laptop as it makes so many corrections that I would never have been able to get this down in the form the inmate used.


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