Illusory Protection: Education & The Prison Industrial Complex
by Adisa Banjoko and Arash Daneshzadeh | special to NewBlackMan (in Exile)
“He confused science fiction with science facts, He couldn’t separate the block, from recorded tracks” – GZA, Illusory Protection
In 2006, I created the Hip-Hop Chess Federation to teach kids chess and correlating life skills. A few years ago, a young Black female student tried to sneak past me in the lobby at John O’Connell High School where I worked as a security guard. She was late. Being the ever inquisitive security guard, I slipped into stealth mode. It was a hot morning. As she tried to skip through the lobby entrance I playfully popped outta the shadows and said “What time is it?!”
The girl grabbed her phone from her front pocket and glanced at her phone—it was off. “ I dunno what time it is!” Half startled and irritated from my AM kung-fu moves.
For a soundless second her eyes blinked between my face and the face on the clock. Her shoulders sagged—her chin dropped like a scolded toddler. “I can’t tell time” she confessed. “Please don’t tell anybody, it’s embarrassing. Nobody knows.”