Emile DeWeaver


Emile is a black community organizer, literary writer, and journalist who co-founded prisonrenaissance.org while serving a 67 years to life sentence in prison. He participated in the passage of Senate Bills 260, 261, and Proposition 57. His personal essays have been published in Rumpus and Seventh Wave, and his op-eds have been published in the Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle. His sentence was commuted by Gov. Jerry Brown in December 2017 for his community service, his productivity, and his story of transformation. Emile is currently working full-time as a product specialist for Pilot.com while working part-time as a guest lecturer and freelance writer. Source


You see me swagger to a stop

at the crosswalk, chin bobbing on

the currents of my playlist, and the Nike


Swoosh on my sleeveless says

I hold my shape after washing.

I look upstreet, presenting you


the question curving along my cheek.

What a nice man you’re thinking,

his Afro is nonthreatening


like a light bulb invented by Thomas Edison.

You’re having ideas, right? Weighing

myths and elongating for answers.


I’m walking your way, broad as day,

and you have to choose. Do

you relax your shoulders and step


into the street or clench your toes

and face your faith in the human

race: all men are created


sequals, every black

man is not a syllable.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:





Racial Injustice

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered