Friday, May 31, 2019

A message from Bomani/Keith to the many friends (70!) who contributed to the fundraiser for this his 50th birthday:

Hello Everybody,

If you are receiving this message it means you were secretly in on the most amazing birthday gift I have ever received, and I'm writing to personally thank each and every one of you for reminding me that there's still so much goodness in this world. More than the money attached, I'm humbled by the fact that so many people were involved in making my life a little better/easier.

You know, I was nineteen years old when I first embarked on this journey, and I've seen and experienced things along the way that would shock and shatter the mind of the average individual: I'm talking about man's inhumanity to man. But that's not all I've seen. I've met and become friends with some of the most amazing people on the planet, people who have burrowed their way into the darkness of my life and have provided the light I needed to see my way through. I don't know where I would be (mentally/spiritually) if this weren't true. Somehow, when things seemed at their worst, I've always received some kind of reminder of my strength and worth, a reason to keep believing in myself; like now :-)

Many of you I have only had minimum contact with: an exchange of letters, a question asked over the phone, a card that simply said, "Hello; stay strong." I've appreciated it all, and I want it to be understood that all of it--everything!--has touched me deep inside my soul. It's the reason why I'm still standing, the reason why I'm still sane, and the fact that I'm turning fifty is testament to the fact that love sustains.

Since receiving my execution date, I've been asked over and over again, "What's next?" And I wish there was a simple answer to that question. The more I've learned about the criminal justice system in this country, the more I've come to understand that who lives and dies is basically a crap shoot, which is to say there's no real rhyme or reason why some people receive justice and some people don't. Like most everything, justice is a commodity, a thing that is either bought or sold; and if/when you have no money to pay the price, you roll the dice and hope. . .

I've been hoping (and praying, yes) for some kind of divine intervention, but l've also been trying to LIVE what remains of my life, and not always be caught up in worrying about what might happen to my body on some future date. In this way, I've been trying to address myself to what it means to be alive, to BE here on this planet, in this moment, at this time. Fifty years is a long time to be somewhere, and it seems that I should have a stronger sense of what I'm doing here. To that end, I've been reading and thinking and trying to organize my thoughts around what it means to be free--i.e., what it means to live without fear, to love without hate. As a fifty-year-old, I feel like I should be better at doing these things than I presently am. I intend to do better.

I never thought I would make it this far and still be intact, with a whole heart and mind, but here I am. Thank you all for believing in me, for supporting me, and for showing me sooooo much love. I never thought that was possible either, but here it is: proof that the best possible things are still possible. Please know that I will NEVER give up, never stop believing in tomorrow.

Your friend and brother,
Bomani Shakur

"Shakur" means thankful, and I'm most definitely that! THANK YOU!!  :-)

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