Xavier E.


I'm from Compton, California. I grew up in Compton since I was three years old. No father figure, a single mom. So growing up was kind of hard for me as far as with the gangs, because at first, it started off with me protecting myself, and then the neighborhood that I stayed in. I ended up being from that gang, and just looking for... I reflect on it now and I look back at it and I look at it like, okay, I was looking for acceptance. I just wanted to be, I didn't have brothers and sisters for my mom, so I didn't have that many cousins, or... I had a couple of cousins but you know, they were in Cerritos, which is still L.A. county, but it's still a couple of cities down. So I got into a lot of trouble beginning in my childhood. I'm going to say it's young, like nine. Started off as vandalism. I didn't even do that though. But vandalism, fights at school, to carrying a firearm, until my last thing which was attempted murder. I'm incarcerated going up north. But when you go up there it's like you meet different... it's a different culture.

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You know, Southern California and Northern California are two different worlds. If that makes sense. Like, our lingo is different. They are probably using bruh. We use bro. You know, something like that for example. So when I got up there. It was still kind of like… I met Scott, actually when I was fighting my case. And I was seeing all the stuff he was doing. And it was kind of weird because when I met him, because I was like, “Who is this white dude that’s coming in here,” you know? I’m thinking… I was just looking at him like, “Who is this guy,” you know? He was quiet, always on his phone.

So we had a group called SR Writers, and it was writing. And I used to like to write. So I was writing poetry, and I shared one of my writings one day, and this guy was like, “I liked it but you could’ve made it longer.” So that pissed me off. Like, “Who the fuck this guy think he is?” Excuse my language, but I’m like, “Who he think he is?” You know, trying to tell me, oh I should write it longer. But I didn’t know how to accept constructive criticism back then. So I was like, “I ain’t coming back to this group.” So I left and then they ended up putting me back. I asked to come back and then he was telling me like who he was, and I was like, “Man, I apologize.”

But long story short, he followed me from juvenile hall all the way to YA. From YA to camp YA. So I got out when I was 20, and the crazy thing about it is I got out. First day out on the plane. Never flew. Sacramento to LAX. I was like, that’s a cool ass experience. You know what I’m saying? Like to fly on a plane. It was like bam. First day out, a dude gave me $100. I didn’t even know him. He was like, man, and I was just… I told him, “I ain’t going to lie bro. I’m scared to be on this plane, low key.” He was like, “Why, what’s going …” I told them my whole story. He like, “Aw man.” And then the next thing you know he’s “Here, man.” I’m like, “Nah, man you don’t got to do that.” “No, man. Here, let me have this … go do something with it. Hey, like go get … buy a drink or something.” I’m like, “I can’t even drink. I’m only 20.” Like, you know? He like wanted to do something.

So, I ended up flying. I met the ARC (Anti Recidivism Coalition), went to the housing, got a job like five days after I was out. Actually, not even five. Like three days. Because it was seasonal for UPS. And I was like, “Man, I got to have a job once I come home. I can’t just sit on my ass.” So I got … I mean, I was destined to get a job. So I got a job, checked into school, got another job. Now what I’m doing is I kind of took another turn, because my pops died, and stuff like that. So it was kind of, stuff was getting a little bit hard because I met him once I got out of jail. It was kind of crazy. And I met all these brothers and sisters. I know right now, but this is crazy bro. And then, I mean I’ve been out for three years now. Haven’t gotten back in no trouble. I’m staying out the way, making money.

90% of people that’s out there committing crimes want a different lifestyle. And don’t get me wrong, and it’s another 10% that enjoy that lifestyle. Just enjoy just ruining other people’s lives, going in back and forth through the system. But the other 90% really want a different lifestyle. And when you sit down and do time, and think about things, and as rebuilt yourself, recreate yourself, you know? That’s what I did. Because I used to always, It’s crazy, every night I used to dream when I was fighting my case, I used to dream about all the mistakes I did in my life. Tried to go back and like, “Damn, what if I could’ve just did that? How this would turned out? How would this would have turned out?” And then that just taught me like all of it. All I do is just show you like, “Man, you can’t live in a dream. That should have, could have, would have, can’t do that.” I could reflect on it, but I got to still push forward because that’s what defines me.