Tacuma Abdul Halim Ta’Zya letter
February 10, 1989
Dear Etheridge Knight.
Hello. My name is “Tacuma Abdul Halim Ta’Zya,” and if you knew the meaning of those names combined to describe one individual, you would know and understand why.
Perhaps, at a later date I will explain it to you. It will only cost you positive direction and aid in my further growth and development by merely reciprocating in correspondence, or having others who are willing -- do so.
My name hasn’t always been as mentioned above and I have not always been the.
(over- Individual I’ve come to be.
I was never less ignorant before either. Which is why I’m writing to you.
I’m twenty-seven (27), 5”10 1/2 , 160 lbs, African-American man.
I’m presently imprisoned serving a sentence of 7 ½ to 15 years. The reason, armed robbery. This is my second bit] after serving
five years on the first one. Armed robbery. I used to be a typical product of my environment under economical, social and political pressures. I never understood it before. I’m just beginning to now . . . . . and, wow!
I’m now at Huntington State Prison in the Control
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Unit where I’ve been since the Jan 26/27 1987 riot incident at Western Penitentiary.
Since then I have grown further in my political, social, economical, historical and personal development. Changing in my character, personality, thoughts, feelings and attitude through the knowledge/information I’ve obtained and when I can, apply.
When you know better, you do better. So I’ve become a man mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
For some, that’s bad! It represents a threat.
To my people, myself, the women and children, it’s good. It represents responsibilities I’m accepting and dealing with reality to be an access and a liability. It represent strength, direction of character in a positive, progressive manner.
I know where I come from, how I got here, and what I was brought here for. History teaches us that as well as where we should be going.
I’m a native of Pittsburgh, The Hill District.
I want to know if you can be of help/support to me by way of further growth and development through knowledge -- books, article, magazines, correspondence, etc, etc.
You see, I’m not just trying to survive, I’m trying to thrive. I just need a little help those willing, those who can for the sake of solidarity and make it work for and not against us.
Aluta - Continua
Tacuma Abdul Halim Ta’Zya
Drawer R, P.9861
Huntington, Penna. 16652
A Beautiful Sister whom I correspond with and used to work there but now resides in Connecticut by the name of “Linda Watkins.” Being that I invite poetry and short stories about and from Prison. She advised me to write you.
I also sing :)