“...I'm gonna keep my mind on helping others and doing what means
progress and unification of people and ideas so that our cause is constantly and always represented...the threats and
dangers are there but I move forward looking to make use of my time, getting closer to the people I love and this way I am
not drawn into their traps...And one thing the man wants from me now more than ever is my attention and my time at his call,
and he gets neither. I'll make it out of here, yes, I will, very much alive in every way. The man has ran out of changes,
he remains entrapped by his own makings-my changes have only began and I've already gained my personal freedom."
" I prefer to face these people alone and carry the burden, for it is my journey and horrible situation. Maybe there
is a good break and clearance in the future, maybe. If not, there are billions of people suffering much much worse injustice
and experiences than I am. That's what our struggle is all about. "
" I was denied 2 more years [as of 2004]. Some lady D.A. from Marin County was present to speak about the S.Q. 1971
incident, how bad I am, even tho we never met, and why i shouldn't be released. "
" When things got explosively ugly in the late 60's and early 70's they got that way because some people dared to
stand up and speak out, and dared care for our people, and that's not a crime. "
" I know that this is all part of their break me down process, but they won't succeed, no.....we're still alive and we
must keep doing it right, for everyone, and for the main goals. "
" I know I say I've been blessed, rewarded, have known magnificent, special people, and I've experienced super great
moments, and that's true, but I've also desperately desired and missed the human contact. I've worked so hard to live as
positive and human as possible, even stretching my imagination and fantasizing, to reach some measures of human fulfillment
and not be affected too much by the pains, but it is so hard. "
Yogi quotes from a letter to Terry Collins, letter dated 2nd November 2011
" Thank you, for the kind words and for recognizing the great work of a few brothers in here, from so long ago,
who were really serious about liberation and the transformation of self. For me, it begins with the new W. L. [Nolen]
in San Quentin, in March of 1967, because I remember the old W.L. in Soledad, in 1963-64, when he was consistently messing
up, as were most of us youngsters. Therefore, when the new W.L. greeted me in San Quentin, and he was handing me some
literature and telling me about the Black consciousness studies, the self-reliant principles of living, the Black
liberation movement and the building of the new man, he became my principle example because I noticed the positive and
significant changes in him. He used Malcolm as our primary example of self-transformation and he felt that all of us
brothers could make that same transformation, and not talking about religion because that should be a conscious personal
choice. Yes, there was the objective of converting the criminal mentality into a revolutionary mentality, but that was
only one phase of the self-transformation process, and that's why Brother Malcolm played a big role in our mode of
transformation. San Quentin was the best station in the CDC for Black prisoners to get socially and politically
educated because we had some righteous brothers in the liberation movement paving the way for us to learn, grow and really
transform. We had Muslim Brothers receiving all kinds of Black history literature and conscious material along with
their religious material and they would share it with all brothers interested in learning and changing. Also, by 1967,
there were several Black organizations in the U.S. including the Black Panther Party in Oakland in 1966 and some brothers
were receiving revolutionary and world history material from some of these organizations and we would share it. "
In a letter to Kiilu Nyasha dated 16th January 2012, Yogi wrote:
"From birth, my mom and grandma were always loving me, looking out for me. I grew up a loner and didn't seem to
fit anywhere or with anyone, except with my mom and grandma. Then, we came to the states and we began to spend a lot
of time apart. She was working hard, long hours to care for us and I was in school. By age 15 i started venturing
into the fast lanes of the streets, getting in trouble and juvenile institutions. Brothers picked me up. They
thought i was a Puerto Rican Brother, that I should be with them and i hooked up with the Brothers in Preston, and got
caught up in the racial violence and conflicts. I worked hard to learn how to fight, my way of showing the Brothers
my appreciation for our hookup, for i felt more at home with them than any other race or nationality, but i had no
friends. As much as i missed my mom and grandma, i kept messing up in the streets and going back to Youth Authority
(CYA), but mom and grandma would visit me often. "
" When i assaulted the lady in 1964, i turned myself in and felt like those bad ways i picked up had doomed me and now
i would go to prison and get worse like most of us were, no real friends except for mom and grandma, who were with me
always. I was so wrong about getting worse because, when i was transferred to SQ in March 1967, i ran into some truly
beautiful brothers, in the liberation movement, who were trying so hard to help us, all of the brothers, to change, to wake
up, grow up, become positive, constructive and responsible Brothers. And one of those righteous Brothers was W.L.
[Nolen] who was leading by example! Only a few of those brothers turned out to be for real, but for those who were,
they became true Brothers and friends, really loving and caring and wanting nothing but the best for us, even put their
lives on the line for us. After those beautiful Brothers were taken from us, there have been 2 other Brothers who
became my true friends and of course i love them dearly, but they too have passed away long ago. "
Kiilu is pretty sure Yogi is referring to George Jackson and perhaps William Christmas or James McClain. But as most
of you know, George Jackson's name cannot be written or spoken in California prisons without dire consequences.
Kiilu says this quote from the same letter from 16th January 2012 is indicative of Yogi's spirituality:
" My grandma passed on in 1990, but her great love and energies live on in and with me, as does the true love of
everyone who loves me, for that love is the living force which keep me pushing and growing and it is my way of paying
tribute to them, you all. I've made a few new friends, real friends, true love. "
In a letter to Kiilu Nyasha dated 30th January 2013, Yogi wrote:
" Sometimes i feel i've been here a life time, and when someone asks me to explain, i say i can't because i hardly
ever talk about my situation?! 43 of the 48 years, so far, in the hole and only my Shirley knew of this reality.
People know i'm in it. I know i'm in it, but outside of my Shirley nobody really know how it is to be in
it. I don't even believe it, sometimes, because i hardly believe i've been kept in it this long.
I've found myself pushing and working so hard, going through time spaces, resisting, transcending, acting like
"I'll show you, Monster, I'll be the most extraordinary beautiful human being." But then, those days
when I feel I've had to push so hard that I've flown away from my own humanity because being a whole human in
here is so much work. It's too complex. Too bizarre. Who can understand me? Really see me, feel
me? Haven't had a contact visit in 42 years! Under such extreme inhumane treatment and condition,
I'm trying to scream, "Hey, i am human." Am i, really? Or simply an energy who created a big fantasy
to escape this horrible reality? "
In this quote, Yogi mentions his wife, Shirley, who passed away in 1987 of brain cancer. When they married, the
CDC only gave them five minutes to embrace each other. They had no further contact after that. Yogi often refers
to her as his twin. He was devastated by her death and keeps her spirit alive in his heart.
In a letter to (Willie) Sundi Tate, dated 29th January 2013, Yogi wrote:
" I have 31 years of clean time and can't even get a transfer to a place near home. Now they want to give me
15 years on the Prop. 9 thing. I don't know what can be done! And I'm gonna keep on pushing and growing
because if this is it I'd rather feel healthy, strong, alive, and human. I say better me than someone else because
I have been able to keep pushing through everything for 48 years now while so many couldn't go past 30! 35 or 40
years. It's a really tough road and situation for people out there to understand. After my Shirley passed
in 1987, it's gotten extra hard because she was helping me with and through everything! Not having contact for
over 42 years is crazy! Brother, and I can't bother anyone, but I would never get used to being so deprived and
locked up. I got to keep on pushing, moving, running to the next day, next moment, next stage of living.
Can't stand still for long."