Saturday, May 17, 2008

Letter From an Ex Offender

February, I posted an entry about my chance encounter with an ex offender who was waiting to see Barak Obama at the Baltimore Arena. This week, my mailbox included a package that enclosed a book titled, Mandela Conquers the Cut: Essays from Prison, by Walter Mandela Lomax. The accompanying letter read:
Mrs. Shirley
I must say, seeing you at the Barack Obama rally, was something we both never expected 18 months ago. Having my freedom has opened many doors, and attending events such as the Obama rally are some of those rewards.
I just released one of my books, "Mandela Conquers the Cut,' (copy enclosed) and would like to have it placed in the prison library's. There is already a request from prisoners to have it mailed to them, but their family must order it off line. Most of the major distributors have it, and if necessary I can also give some copies.

It was a pleasure having had the opportunity to work with you in the Family Literacy, the experience was rewarding.

I immediately checked and saw that his book is available at Amazon Book Store. I plan to purchase copies for all the prisons. I am happy that in some small way I made a difference to an individual who spent 39 years in prison. Some of my feel good prison librarian stories are recorded in Interface.

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