A Man Locked Down Is Still A Man

by Henry Hardee

"You cannot do this to me. You cannot compel my definition. You cannot force me down. You cannot repress me. I will speak. I will speak out of who I am."

Houston Baker
Black American Educator

I ain't got no love for the police. They full of crap!They took my ace, my heart, m'nigga and locked him down over some bullshit.

We came up together. He was funny in some ways like he wouldn't take a shower unless he had matching wash cloths, hand towels and body towels and he didn't like to wear sweaty clothes.

As we grew up I watched his silky locks turn into naps that no comb was strong enough to tame and talking about tenderheaded he cried every time any body tried to do something with his head.

We use to got to the barber shop together. When we were teenagers he had wavy hair, natural waves that were full of body and sheen and was irresitable to the touch, some sister was always running her fingers through it.

He kept his hair up every day. He didn't have no build up, no tangles and never needed to use a dandruff shampoo. He looked like he belonged in one of them ads for "Duke" hair products.

His hair was always sharp. He had it touched up every two weeks not every six months (like me). He was always freaking about his split ends getting out of control.

He made a big mistake when he let one of our boys talk him into getting some braids. He started getting these bumps on his neck and one of our boys told him to use some hydrocortisone on them and they would clear up. When that didn't work our other boy told him to use some baking powder. The problem just kept getting bigger. Desperate, he got his uncle to use a sewing needle to bust the bumps and free the hair that was under his skin. He went to see a dermatologist who told him that his shirt collar was too tight and he should tell his barber not to use a razor on him and to let up on the clippers.

The infection he had made him get scars on his scalp and all his hair fell out. He wasn't worried at first (he used some Vita-Grow which was suppose to sooth his head and make his hair grow.) After six months his hair still hadn't grown back. He just said fuck it and got a baldie. The ladies thought it looked sexy but us boys started calling him "Titty Head" cause his head was shaped like a woman's breast.

Titty Head was known for his head gear. He had vintage Kangols, baseball caps, bandanas. He rocked head bands, "Nike Caps," visors, "Addidas" wash bucket style hats, tight beenies, black scullys and "Tommy Jeans" stocking caps. The one he wore the most was a black leather kerchief that cost seventy-five dollars. He would kick your ass over that head rag.

He was just going about his business on the way to the shop to get a gold pin for his Serengeti-Safari" Duma brim with the African hen feather sitting in the mud cloth head band when the police rolled up on him.

It was routine. It was a part of life that all brothas come to expect. He knew the police can be on some sick shit and if you try to run away from them, try to defend yourself, try to hold your own, you ain't gonna get nothin' but a butt whuppin'.

He knew how the cops were set against him and they didn't know how to treat people decent. They were gonna do everthing they could to nail his ass to the cross. They didn't have to have a good reason to lock you up, "Your eyes is red!", "You fit the description."

He knew a cop could be a premature death sentence, everytime one walked up on him he had to make a choice between life and death.

He kept his cool cause he knew what the police could do to him, they could slam him up against a wall, take him somewhere where they could maliciously beat him to death and he would never be heard from again. He knew they wouldn't feel no kinda guilt after they'd killed his ass.

Titty Head knew the drill. He threw up his hands so they could see them and know that he didn't have a gun. They made him take his pants down, bend over, spread his cheeks and squat like he had drugs up his behind.

He knew better than to ask them why they were doing what they were doing to him. He didn't want to wind-up under an unmarked headstone in a prison grave yard so he bit his tongue.

He was alright until one of the cops started making negative comments about him, "What the fuck you representing with that bald ass head!" One of the cops walked up to him, "What kind of shit is this...?" and snatched the leather kerchielf off his head-- "Say man, your head looks like one of my balls, get down here in between my legs and kiss your brother!"

In that momment he wasn't thinking about what they did to him the last time he was in jail, how they sprayed lice killer on him, put it all over him like he was a beast, the missing link-ifuknowhatimean. It had him scratching his scalp and scratching his balls.

In that moment all he wanted to do was pull that cop's spine through his nostril--ifuknowwhatimean. Titty Head back handed the cop across the jaw and a trickle of blood came out of the side of his mouth, "Who are you to be busting on me like that? Who the fuck is you? You a man just like I am. You ain't God. You ain't Jesus!"

That got him ten years. It was a parole violation. When they took his mug shots he had a red nylon t-shirt wrapped around his head so folks couldn't see that it was shining.

I miss kicking it with him. Ain't nobody in the world like him. when he told you a story his voice got all animated and he would make all kinds of gestures with his hands. He had me on the floor laughing when he told me about this fat policemen that was chasing after him.

We use to party and hang out in front of his building every night,listening to slow jams and oldies while we watched the girls.

I know its hard for him to be locked up cause he ain't gonna be able to get no snatch in prison. He gonna have to learn how to make him some Susie (pussy.) He gonna have to take a towel, roll it up in a cylinder, put a rubber glove in the middle of it, put some vaseline on his dick, put it inside the glove and start fucking that motherfucka.

I had to do the same thing. I did it for five years. I was in my cell every night throwing my hips into Susie until she started making them farting noises like real pussy do. That shit fucked up my mind, I been out three years and I still can't get off with a real woman!

It's been two years since I done seen Titty Head--ONE LOVE TO ALL THE BROTHAS IN JAIL, keep holding it down.

A man locked up is still a man, yall, still a man.

A Man Locked Down Is Still A Man by Henry Hardee

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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