I was born and raised in Oakland, CA and attended Oakland Public Schools, K-12. Oakland life is a complex movie- full of depth and scenes that are high and low, ever evolving and impactful to all who witness the plot unfold again and again. For many of us, we live in Oakland but at the same time we are surviving Oakland. Our most powerful weapons are not guns or basketballs. No. Our most powerful weapon is our voice. Our leaping, twirling, voices of maniacal poise. A collective voice that over and over again rings undeniable and raw, truthful and compas-sionate. Reading through these pages I felt a sense of real pride and renewed hope. For these young people are a continuum of a great natural force in Oakland and an example to the peers who share common narratives around the world.
-Ise Lyfe HBO DEF Poet
Commissioner of Arts and Cultural Affairs for the City of Oakland, CA
This book depicts the painful psalms of children in a Society gone astray. These are our children and they will construct the world of tomorrow. If that future world is not to our liking and alien to us, it is what we deserve unless we take action to change what is happening around us. This book 'Write to Live' exposes us to what some children endure as a 'rite of life.'
-Guy Johnson, author of Standing at the Scratch Line and Echoes of a Distant Summer