January 19, 2021
“And when the psychosis passed I found myself in a cell in Upstate Correctional Facility and I felt so utterly empty, alone and scarred…” These are the words of Jelani Zulante, who contributed to our 2nd publication. This is how I and many feel after 4 years of intense Christian Republican fascism. The words of inmates, those who are witness to continuous horror, act as a lamentation. Lamentations, like those of Jeremiah, articulate the unthinkable and unutterable. Because they do, it gives us emotional clarity and cathartic release. Jelani Zulante and Jeremiah are within the umbrella of Prison Theology.
Prison Theology addresses the horrors of incarceration and the incarcerated nation. Those incarcerated feel and experience what poor people have always felt, albeit more directly oppressively. Jesus was poor before he was incarcerated.
January 12, 2021
Breathe in and breathe out. Outside are the white supremacists that lord it over you and have the power to kill you. This is the experience of many in prison. Now, white middle-class society can see and feel this.
In our second publication, Jelani Zulante wrote that “the nightmare began once the dream ended and I returned to my physical body only to discover how badly damaged and abused I was.” This is an apt description of America in the wake Republican fascism and white supremacy violence.
The artist Childish Gambino has a song and video entitled “This is America” in which he murders and dances and sings the refrain “this is America.”
The wisdom of pain and deep breath is now ours. Those who have endured it can be our guides. This is what Black Liberation Theology speaks about and this is what Prison Theology speaks about.