This is not the shockingly raw man who’s the frightening gang-banging boogeyman most people freeze in time. Sanyika considers himself a philosopher, cadre, or professional revolutionist who is a part of the New Afrikan Independence Movement.
This 7-minute interview is a snippet of the two-hour interview by uncuffed radio; a podcast from Solano State Prison spearheaded by producers Damon L. Cooke and b f thames.
For twenty plus years people have been foaming at the mouth for “Monster” part 2. Sanyika has personally told me that he has a new book titled “One So True” and there is a bidding war between major publishing companies.
His self-published book Monster is the brutal truth that opens the door to a life most people only read about in the filtered and agenda ridden media. He wrote it while in solitary confinement for four years in Pelican Bay which is still one of the toughest prisons in the country. At Pelican Bay, the state’s first and most notorious supermax, the 1,500 occupants of the Security Housing Unit (SHU) and Administrative Housing Unit spend 22.5 hours a day alone in windowless cells measuring about 7 x 11 feet. The remaining 90 minutes are spent, also alone, in bare concrete exercise pens. Prisoners can only access the world outside their cells via their ”feeding slots.“ And their only interactions with fellow prisoners consists of shouting through steel mesh — until the guards order them to shut up. Very few care about the environmental, social and sensory deprivation.
Sanyika currently sits in Solano State Prison and has many powerful views on society, prison, politics and more. He and I agree that finding solutions to problems starts with an accurate understanding of what the problem is. First-hand experience and knowledge like ours is paramount to finding solutions to violence and a starting point to fix a broken criminal justice system.
The L.A. Times called him “a walking, stalking in-product of America’s assault on the black psyche. The New York Times praised his book as “a raw and frightening portrait of gang life.”
I lived in the heart of South Central L.A. for 6 years and agree with Sanyika/Kody that gang and prison life violence was as much a way of life as a young child growing up in Utah becoming a Mormon or a kid from Silicon Valley becoming a tech-geek. Prison is simply a foreign language to these children whereas it’s a right of passage to inner-city youth.