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Excerpt from “Brother of the Struggle”

The following passage is an excerpt from Jason’s novel, “Brother of the Struggle,” an in-your-face literary gem, inspired by true events, that chronicles the trials and tribulations of the tumultuous life of Malcolm Xavier Jordan, a young African-American growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the tragic era of broken family settings and massive incarceration. Authored while incarcerated, Jason is currently seeking to get his approximately 65,000-word manuscript into the hands of publishers and literary agents. If you would like to assist Jason in this endeavor, which would ultimately strengthen his case for demonstrating his readiness to be paroled, please contact him.

As I watched the slow cycle of the seasons from inside, the by-any-means-necessary mentality I’d felt at the beginning of my incarceration faded out of my mind. I blame a lack of self-discipline and a lack of focus. I took my eyes off the prize, as the saying goes. Instead of working on a way to escape “the belly of the beast,” as I’d vowed to do, I sat around doing nothing, feeling sorry for myself. It was as though I’d fallen off of a bike and instead of getting up and climbing back on the bike, I just lay there on the ground, rolling around in my own self-pity, hoping somebody would come along and give me a hand. Eventually, after six months, I saw an African proverb in a Vibe magazine: “Whom that is truly dying of thirst, blindly shall they certainly find a river.” The more I thought about it, the more it gave me strength. Here’s how I understood it: when someone is truly dedicated towards accomplishing something important, they will accomplish their goal, against any odds.

The proverb’s message lifted my spirit and inspired me to “find the river.” After I made up my mind to get back on my square, I didn’t waste any time conjuring up a strategic plan to liberate myself.

— Brother of the Struggle

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