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A Visit to Sing Sing

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Uploaded on Oct 23, 2009

What does it mean to be a good man? If you're in prison for life, are you still able to be a good father, a good son, a good man? Tom Matlack, cofounder of The Good Men Project, visits Sing Sing maximum security prison in New York to find out.

http://www.goodmenproject.org/

"This is the first stop on The Good Men Project book tour. I'm not going to Barnes & Nobles. I'm not going to Harvard. I'm not going to some coffee shop to read poetry out loud. My book is about manhood and redemption. I have in my mind the image of Johnny Cash going into Fulsom Prison. Like his music, my book is about manhood, raw and unvarnished. So I need to find guys who understand what that is about. It's also about the possibility of redemption, about making mistakes, and about picking yourself up. I have no idea what I am going to say to these guys but I am going to try."

The Good Men Project is a book, a documentary film, a charitable organization, an idea. It's men telling their stories in a language guys can understand, raw, unvarnished truths. Julio Medina, a former Sing Sing inmate, is one of thirty-one contributers to the book. He tells his story: "In Sing Sing, my cell was so small that I could stand in the middle of it and touch both walls. Those walls were metal, so in the summer it got really hot in the cells. Most days it was 120 degrees. When the guards walked by, that was my air-conditioning--that little breeze they made. They sold little fans for the cells, but I refused to buy one. I wanted to feel every fucking day of that prison sentence. I wanted to remember every time how, after my family came to visit me, I was strip searched, how I was dehumanized. After leaving my mother, I'd have to stand totally naked while a guard ran his fingers through my mouth and then my hair. He'd lift my nut sack, make sure there was nothing underneath, and then put my hands behind my ears, turn me around, and say, 'Bottom of the left foot, bottom of the right foot. Uh oh, I didn't see that left foot. Now move your toes around.' I would have to stand on one fucking leg, trying to balance, until this asshole decided to tell me to put my leg down."

The book is on sale at Amazon: http://bit.ly/BuyGoodMenBook

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mat...

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