· By SYZY Corp.
Here's a grainy, '90s-era video on YouTube that shows a 16-year-old Black kid in an oversized white T-shirt, prisoner No. 272-113 at the D.C. Jail. A dark-suited reporter asks him whether anyone he knew growing up in his neighborhood "made it out." One person, he responds. Just one.
The kid fidgets with his pants while shirtless men play basketball behind him, and the reporter peppers him with questions about his future. He responds to her with a depressing calculation: if he were to end up serving a 30-year sentence, his mother would likely be dead by the time he was released.
"I keep appealing my case. I can't win," he says, looking away from the reporter and the camera. "Ain't nothing to live for."
The footage is over two decades old, a scene taken from HBO's Thug Life in D.C., an Emmy-winning documentary by Mark Levin and Daphne Pinkerson that came out in 1999.
That teenager, Halim Flowers, now a 41-year-old author, poet, and visual artist b