Ironically, I wrote this piece the day one of my cousin's friends was killed, 2 weeks before his 30th. Who would've imagined. 120 seasons later, a black baby has turned into a strong black man. Another strong soldier for the nation that would lay his life down with no hesitation. It took a lot to get to this milestone in my chronological chart. A near drowning, a terrible fall, and almost getting shot. But I still be. 30, black, and free. Spiritually, physically, and mentally. Everyday I thank the God for blessing me with good health, and for helping me wipe the crust from my 3rd eye while in jail. The knowledge I now possess allows me to persist & exist in this hell. Not the knowledge I received in school, but what I taught myself. I believe that had I never obtained the positive mindset I have, my end would've come in my past. Like so many other brothers that lived their lives way too fast. Now, I live for the future. So that I may pass wisdom to the next generations. I plan on being here when my nation achieves salvation. 30 years... In retrospect, it's been a bumpy road on this trip called life. Many different forks in my path, one leading to wrong, the other leading to right. But I'm still free. Black and 30. Right now I'm struggling so I can give an easier life to my princess. Making sure her way is clear of obstacles is my main interest. So that she wil be in a better position than I when she reaches this mark. Even though I haven't succeeded in my past dreams, hers will give me a fresh start. My chance to make another difference in this nation's stats. She will be college educated, successful at 30, free, and black.