Eight incarcerated men stood before a number of women and prisoners to make amends for unethical behavior. They spoke at the second “Sister I’m Sorry” conference, hosted by Tony “Pup” Walldrip, at the Garden Chapel on August 11.
The conference began with the screening of a “Sister I’m Sorry” event hosted by Margaret Avery, filmed and directed by Frank Underwood Jr.
Panel speakers were Bun Chanthon, Clay Harris, Larry “Doc” Histon, Andress Yancy, Darryl Hill, Darrell “Obediah” Flowers, Lonnie Morris, and Travis Lambert.
Flowers, 47, serving a 12-to-life sentence, was given four minutes to speak about what he was sorry for.
“I come from a drug-addicted mother who is a prostitute. She had me at 15 years old, and used to lie to me a lot. It made me angry, and at 14 years old I beat her up,” he said as he shed tears.
“I was angry. I took that anger into my relationships where I looked for validation, but was controlling, manipulating, cheating, and when my girlfriend was tired of me she wanted to leave,” he said. “I didn’t want to let her leave me. I stabbed her…she cried ‘Help me Jesus, help me Jesus, help me Jesus,’ and I told her ‘Jesus can’t help you now,’ but by the grace of God she survived.”
“For being controlling, manipulative and a cheater, Sister, I’m sorry,” Flowers said.
Darryl Hill, another lifer, said “I loved the streets more than I loved my family.”
“While I never touched my family, I killed people in front of them. I beat people in front of my mother-in-law, my wife,” he said as he took a deep breath. “I hurt them that way.”
“My wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while I was still home. She had five years to live, and while I was lying down with my wife in bed she would say, ‘You’re going to get life or get killed in the streets.’ My response would be, ‘Well, you got five more years with me so you better enjoy them while you got them.’”
Her prediction came true, and he was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man.
“For not being there to give my wife her pain medication, abandoning my family, and for every sister who had a man like me, ‘Sister, I’m sorry,’” Hill said.
Darlene Burke said she was moved by the fact that incarcerated men were holding a conference to apologize for mistreating women. Burke is the founder of Ten Toes In, a mentorship and domestic violence program, and she flew from Los Angeles to attend.
“Typically, it is the women who support the men in prison and we are never acknowledged, often ostracized, told we have low self-esteem and are stupid because we choose to love y’all,” Burke said. “And I just want you men to know, when a woman invests in a man she’s looking for a man in return.”
She accepted the men’s apologies for women who couldn’t attend and said, “Thank you.”