The founder of The MOTH presents: SUDDEN OWL

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What makes a teacher survive in a school where the guards are more violent than the students?

A one-minute story by Rhasaan Oyasaba Manning


Crossroads, Horizons, & Passages

by Rhasaan Oyasaba Manning


I am a teaching-artist at a few “academies” in the Bronx with names like Crossroads, Horizons,  & Passages.

Every day on my way up to class I try to guess how many of the original 20 students will actually be there.

Will there be 5 in solitary confinement?

5 in court?

5 zonked out on meds?

This day there were 2 new kids in class. Legends. Within a minute they’ve already attacked another student.

So the guards rush in, yoke ’em up, beat ’em down, drag ’em out and body-slam ’em in the hallway.

One guard comes back to me and says,

“Yo… You lookin’ at me funny cuz I beat dey ass? Hippie-ass nigga, please. You don’t know who dem 2 niggas is? Dem 2 niggas doused a mothafucka in gasoline and set that nigga on fire. It was on the news! Think I give a fuck about dem 2 niggas?! I hope they get the fuckin’ chair, suhn!…”

Turns out the 14 & 15 year olds were tried and convicted as adults, and sent upstate where the real men are at.

In here, we call that early graduation.

And that guard? If I happened to drive up on him in the street, I would run his ass over.

Except, I’m a hippie-ass nigga…