Author Archives: Marcus Henderson

Father and son bond over experiences of San Quentin

By Marcus Henderson Anthony Ammons Sr. and Jr. not only share the same name. They also share the experience of being prisoners in San Quentin State Prison. One in eight African American children has an incarcerated parent. In addition, before the age of 18, one in 10 children who has an incarcerated parent will be […]

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Spring training brings new talent to the diamond

By Marcus Henderson At least 40 men showed up for the San Quentin baseball spring training tryouts. The veteran players were in rare form, demonstrating their batting and fielding skills. They showed the newcomers the proper baseball mechanics while the outside volunteers and coaches scouted the talent for the 17-man roster. “We’re looking to improve […]

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Native Americans’ 50 years of struggle

By Marcus Henderson The San Quentin Native American community is celebrating 50 years of campaigning to protect and preserve their culture. Plans are underway to have another of the Native American Spiritual Group’s Pow Wows later this year. The Pow Wow is only one part of a larger set of activities, which includes honoring elders […]

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PPI advocates for inmates’ well-being

By Marcus Henderson When it comes to jail and prison procedures, the Prison Policy Initiative (PPI), an advocacy organization in Northampton, MA, has led the way in fighting for real changes in policies that affect the well-being of inmates. In its 2015-16 annual report, PPI celebrated successes. The organization led a campaign for legislation that […]

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Survey finds crime victims want more say in convictions

By Marcus Henderson In the past 10 years, one in four people in the U.S. has been a victim of a crime. A recent survey found crime victims wished for prosecutors to consider their opinion about what it takes to recover from the criminal acts committed against them, even if it resulted in fewer convictions. […]

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Looking back on the history of SQ baseball

Kent Philpott and Earl Smith played leading roles By Marcus Henderson When you talk about San Quentin baseball history, you cannot leave out 75-year-old coach and sponsor of the old San Quentin Pirates, Kent Philpott, who took over the team in 1997. Philpott played semi-pro ball in Los Angeles and four years in the military […]

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Celebrating Black history month

By Marcus Henderson Arthur “Rube” Foster holds an honored place in Black sports history, but most people know nothing about him. “He was a shrewd, determined businessman with superior organization skills,” wrote William C. Rhoden, author of a book titled Forty Million Dollar Slaves. Unlike Jackie Robinson, his goal wasn’t to become the first Black […]

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SQ inmates experience a spiritual journey to Mecca

By Marcus Henderson The San Quentin Muslim community was treated to a slide show of the trials and benefits of the spiritual journey to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, that millions of pilgrims throughout the world take. The pilgrimage, known as Hajj, is to visit the Holy Mosque (the House of God). The pictures showed acts […]

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Cycle of incarceration trap mother and son

By Marcus Henderson Devin Cole last saw his mom when he was 2 years old. Then she went to prison. That was 22 years ago, when Alisa “Lee Lee” Stanifer began serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona. Cole has been wearing denim at San Quentin for a year […]

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Historic Black American’s first achievements

The accomplishments of African-Americans like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are well known, but history records many African-Americans who also contributed to the progress of Black people in America. Their stories are rarely read or celebrated. Here are some examples from three sources detailing Black history: James Durham overcame being born a slave to […]

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