Afrika Owes will soon start a 90-day jail sentence as part of a plea deal. The hope is she’ll be out in time for her to go back to classes in the fall.
She needs to thank God for working out a miracle in her life.
Without God’s intervention and the help of Charlie Rangel and the Reverend Calvin Butts working behind the scenes this little sista could have been spending the next ten to twenty years of her life in Sing Sing or some other state penitentiary in New York for her involvement with the 137th Street Crew.
I’m hoping that Afrika Owes takes this second chance God has given her and uses it to make her life count. She still has an opportunity to live her dream of going to a top college.
That’s if she can get her life in order after she does her time.
Once she leaves prison in 90 days, Afrika Owes is going to be at a cross roads. A place where she’s going to have to make some of the toughest choices in her life. And the decisions she makes over the course of this year will define the woman she will become.
There’s going to be a lot of pain as she transitions from the directionless streets towards the road to college. I’m hoping her parents, Reverend Calvin Butts, Rep. Charlie Rangel and the Abyssinian Baptist Church are there to support her because she’s going to need it.
As Afrika gets serious about making changes in her life, it’s going to mean giving up old habits old behaviors, and even ending some friendships and acquaintances with people in the neighborhood. The journey to college is a lonely road for brothers and sisters in the inner-city. There are so many crabs in the barrel trying to pull a person down as they try to come up, and it’s only on that journey up where a brotha or a sista like Afrika discover who truly is for them or against them. It will take all of Afrika’s resolve, courage and strength to overcome the obstacles that will be thrown in her way over the next year as she tries to make it to college.
I know about those tough choices because I had to make them myself at sixteen back in 1990. Starting the journey towards getting my high school diploma back then meant giving up old habits, sacrificing relationships, and committing to my classwork and focusing on where I wanted to go in the future.
Like Afrika I had my share of setbacks, and had to spend an extra year in high school to finish my credits to get my diploma. But I didn’t let anything stop me from getting my diploma and eventually my degree. I’m hoping she stays motivated on her journey towards earning her diploma and eventually her college degree. Now that God has worked a miracle out in her life, I’m hoping she takes the opportunity He’s given her to make the most of it.