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  • At Free America, we've done a listening and learning tour.

  • We visited not only with prosecutors

  • but with legislators,

  • with inmates in our state and local prisons.

  • We've gone to immigration detention centers.

  • We've met a lot of people.

  • And we've seen that redemption and transformation can happen

  • in our prisons, our jails and our immigration detention centers,

  • giving hope to those who want to create a better life

  • after serving their time.

  • Imagine if we also considered the front end of this prison pipeline.

  • What would it look like if we intervened,

  • with rehabilitation as a core value --

  • with love and compassion as core values?

  • We would have a society that is safer,

  • healthier

  • and worthy of raising our children in.

  • I want to introduce you to James Cavitt.

  • James served 12 years in the San Quentin State Prison

  • and is being released in 18 months.

  • Now James, like you and me,

  • is more than the worst thing he's done.

  • He is a father, a husband, a son, a poet.

  • He committed a crime;

  • he's paying his debt,

  • and working hard to build the skills

  • to make the transition back to a productive life

  • when he enters the civilian population again.

  • Now James, like millions of people behind bars,

  • is an example of what happens

  • if we believe that our failings don't define who we are,

  • that we are all worthy of redemption

  • and if we support those impacted by mass incarceration,

  • we can all heal together.

  • I'd like to introduce you to James right now,

  • and he's going to share his journey of redemption

  • through spoken word.

  • James Cavitt: Thanks, John.

  • TED, welcome to San Quentin.

  • The talent is abundant behind prison walls.

  • Future software engineers,

  • entrepreneurs,

  • craftsmen,

  • musicians

  • and artists.

  • This piece is inspired by all of the hard work

  • that men and women are doing on the inside

  • to create better lives and futures for themselves

  • after they serve their time.

  • This piece is entitled, "Where I Live."

  • I live in a world where most people are too afraid to go.

  • Surrounded by tall, concrete walls,

  • steel bars,

  • where razor wire have a way

  • of cutting away at the hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

  • I live in a world

  • that kill people who kill people

  • in order to teach people

  • that killing people is wrong.

  • Imagine that.

  • Better yet,

  • imagine a world where healed people helped hurt people heal

  • and become strong.

  • Maybe then we would all be singin' "Redemption Song."

  • I live in a world that has been called "hell on Earth"

  • by those trapped inside.

  • But I've come to the stark realization

  • that prison --

  • it really is what you make it.

  • You see, in spite of the harshness of my reality,

  • there is a silver lining.

  • I knew that my freedom was gonna come,

  • it was just a matter of time.

  • And so I treated my first steps as if they were my last mile,

  • and I realized that you don't have to be free

  • in order to experience freedom.

  • And just because you're free,

  • doesn't mean that you have freedom.

  • Many of us, for years, have been battling our inner demons.

  • We walk around smiling when inside we're really screamin':

  • freedom!

  • Don't you get it?

  • We're all serving time;

  • we're just in different places.

  • As for me,

  • I choose to be free from the prisons I've created.

  • The key:

  • forgiveness.

  • Action's my witness.

  • If we want freedom,

  • then we gotta think different.

  • Because freedom ...

  • it isn't a place.

  • It's a mind setting.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

  • (Piano)

  • John Legend: Old pirates, yes, they rob I.

  • Sold I to the merchant ships.

  • Minutes after they took I

  • from the bottomless pit.

  • My hands were made strong

  • by the hand of the almighty.

  • We forward in this generation

  • triumphantly.

  • Won't you help to sing

  • these songs of freedom?

  • 'Cause all I ever had --

  • redemption songs.

  • Redemption songs.

  • Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.

  • None but ourselves can free our minds.

  • Have no fear for atomic energy

  • 'cause none of them can stop the time.

  • How long shall they kill our prophets

  • while we stand aside and look?

  • Some say it's just a part of it,

  • we've got to fulfill the book.

  • Won't you help to sing

  • these songs of freedom?

  • 'Cause all I ever had --

  • redemption songs.

  • Redemption songs.

  • (Piano)

  • Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.

  • None but ourselves can free our minds.

  • Have no fear for atomic energy

  • 'cause none of them can stop the time.

  • How long shall they kill our prophets

  • while we stand aside and look?

  • Some say it's just a part of it,

  • we've got to fulfill the book.

  • Won't you help to sing

  • these songs of freedom?

  • 'Cause all I ever had --

  • redemption songs.

  • Redemption songs.

  • These songs of freedom.

  • 'Cause all I ever had --

  • redemption songs.

  • Redemption songs.

  • Redemption songs.

  • (Piano)

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

At Free America, we've done a listening and learning tour.

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B1 US TED redemption freedom james prison quentin

【TED】John Legend: "Redemption Song" ("Redemption Song" | John Legend)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/10/06
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