The Open Door Has Enriched Me, Enlivened Me & Emboldened Me

Open DoorBy Melvin Jones of the Open Door Community of Atlanta

*This piece was first published in the April 2015 issue of Hospitality.
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August 29, 2014, marked my 20th year of being buried in the bowels of the beast. On August 29, 1994, my DeKalb County judge sentenced me to 20 years imprisonment for a voluntary manslaughter conviction that I felt, and still feel, should have been adjudicated as justifiable homicide.

Because I was an outspoken prisoner activist and prison abolitionist, the administrative politics of the Prison Industrial Complex sought to silence my justice-based, morality- grounded outspokenness. I refused to shuffle my feet, scratch my head, prostrate in submission, or kowtow in hopelessness. As a result, the beast buried me for every single day of my 20-year sentence. Still, I rise…
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