COLUMNS

The Streets

by Paulette Lewis

 

October 2010

“Ms. Lewis, he said he wanna meet you.” One of my Urban Success girls had a new boyfriend and was overwhelmed with excitement about him. I had already heard about this guy, (I like to do my homework), so I was a little less enthusiastic.

September 2010

My best four-legged friend in the ‘hood is a pitbull. That’s right. Someone that always has my back, that is happy to see me, and that gives me endless, unconditional love and protection, is a pitbull named Boss.

 

June 2010

It is sooooo refreshing to work with someone of such integrity and dedication as our editor Jeff. He is truly a man of his word - on a mission, taking active steps in his work with formerly incarcerated individuals to pull out all his cards and help them not repeat the same mistakes of their past. To pave new roads for them to travel. He opens doors that are normally locked and the results he’s getting are absolutely remarkable.

 

February 2010

I could hear my kid, Tez, yelling from two streets over. We pulled up to the crowd on the street corner. Tensions were rising at an alarming rate and I had absolutely no idea why. More and more squad members were coming from all directions.

 

October 2009

You know the guys you see in BET-television gangsta music videos with permanent gold teeth that have real diamonds in them, wearing Cardi’s and tatted neck to toe, smoking a blunt and popping bottles? That would describe one of my best friends of all time.

 

September 2009

In my columns, I haven’t really touched on the system of justice and the “code” followed in the streets yet. I will try to explain it now.

 

August 2009

“You’re comin’ to my funeral, right?” he says. Oh, my goodness. What a horrible thing to assume. The young man standing before me seems determined to die by the age of 21. More.

 

July 2009

Standing there in the bright lights of my headlights, I searched for any sign of truth. Everything was still. No sign of a shootout. No blood splattered on the ground. No evidence of a crime scene. Read more.

 

May 2009

I can’t just leave. I don’t know how to do that. Even if I am going to another room I always ask permission first.” This was just one of the many disturbing conversations I’ve had with a victim of incest and rape that was still being victimized in her own home at the age of 18-years-old. Read more.

 

January 2009

"It is so ordered by this court that you are to serve a term of seven years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction." My knees went weak, upon hearing the judge’s statement.

I held onto the banister in front of the judge's seat, standing next to one of my all-time favorite mentees from my program, Urban Success, and I felt as if I had just been hit by a train. Read more.

 

September 2008

From a very young age I felt different. I've always felt especially close to God and believed that He had something special planned for my life. He revealed part of His plan to me in 1995 as I sat in a theater watching the film, “Dangerous Minds,” with Michelle Pfeiffer. You may remember the story of LouAnn Johnson, a white, inner city school teacher who took an interest in the personal well-being and success of the high risk kids in her classroom. Kids that everyone else had given up on. Read more.

 

June 2008

Have you ever come across a person that had hopelessness written all over him or her? What about a child?

It's hard to imagine, because growing up in a "normal," two-parent, middle class home, I thought all kids had the same bright vision of a happy, prosperous, successful future with the very present love of God in their lives the way I did. Reality sucks.

My first taste of reality left me feeling scared, alarmed, confused, unsafe, numb. Like a foreigner in a different country. I came face to face with hopelessness, despair and violence I had never witnessed before among the youth in our city in the year 2000.

Read more.

 

Paulette Lewis

Paulette Lewis