It has been a long time coming. I have been incarcerated since August 15, 2017, and all praise due to God, I left San Quentin State Prison on August 9, 2022.
This has not been an easy five years. I’ve lost close to 12 people during that time of incarceration and one of those 12 people, I couldn’t understand why it happened.
I’ve lost the man who raised me to heart failure three years ago, but I still can’t fathom the loss.
I have been through one institutional lockdown and five COVID lockdowns. I was here when we lost over 30 people to COVID-19 and all I could think was “I’m next.”
Through it all, Mount Tamalpais College (formally known as the Prison University Project) has been a saving grace.
This release from prison is bittersweet. I’m overjoyed to be leaving prison, but leaving people behind still gets to me.
For those I’m leaving behind, I will become something and fight for prison reformation. I will change the stigma placed on incarcerated people and the narrative of how we are viewed.
Mark my words, you have not heard the last of Quincy Q. Paige, also known as Journ-E Tha Premier. I have recently been offered a job working as a sound engineer.
I owe a lot to MTC for believing in me and showing me my value. I would love to extend my deepest gratitude to my English professor who always pushed me to dig a little deeper. I guess me being successful would be the outcome to her teachings and mentorings.
I want to shed light on my therapist for telling me to be a turtle and showing me what it means to be a turtle. A turtle slows down and takes things as they come, and a turtle also takes his home “comfort” with him everywhere he goes.
So to all: be a turtle!