After years of writing in and petitioning, a group in Atlanta, Georgia, has finally made some progress toward their goal: to replace all people of color in prisons with white people. It hasn’t been an easy road, and many times, the group known as End Black Imprisonment (EBI) has been arrested themselves for their acts of defiance. However, it was during that time that they realized a compromise could be made.
It was getting arrested that gave us an epiphany. What if, instead of going into the system involuntarily, we could sub in for a POC instead? They could go out, maybe work at our jobs and live in our houses, if they need a place to stay, and show that they are upstanding citizens?
- Shana Fisher, EBI spokesperson
This no-longer radical idea was presented to the courts by the group’s lawyer, and after several days of deliberation, the judge agreed that it would be doable. It would be a work-release program, except that the prison wouldn’t be losing an individual fit to continue that prisoner’s labor. The group began drafting willing white members of the community to help begin the exchange process.
The first few white people to be exchanged were admitted to the prison, followed by the group and a photographer. As they entered, they saw three black prisoners standing in the processing area with their hands in cuffs. They were shown the three men who would take their places, un-cuffed, and given a satchel which contained their personal affects, some cash, and the addresses to the home of the person they were exchanging with.
All men immediately departed, presumably so elated with their newfound freedom that they forgot to thank the men taking their places, and the white men were placed in cuffs to begin their sentences. They were led away, and all three were smiling and giddy as they disappeared down the hallway.
How can you begin the process to become part of the exchange? First, you’ll need to live in Atlanta. To help combat these limitations, EBI has repurposed an old motel into a half-way house for anyone who doesn’t live in the area so that a local address can be provided. From there, you’ll need to fill out some forms and get on the waiting list to be matched with an available person of color. We’re told that the waiting list is quite long, and could be months out at this point, so you’ll want to sign up soon to get ahead.
As equality is pursued in the United States, groups like EBI are doing everything they can, and more, to help level the playing field and make life better for those who are less privileged.
If a small amount of our regular readers became subscribers on Subscribestar, we'd have enough funding to no longer be dependent on annoying Google ads cluttering your reading space and we will be protected against deplatforming. Will you subscribe on Subscribestar?