Family Legacy

 Hi- I'm  1in3. Ummi named me Kevin, after a guy she had a crush on  growing up I think. I grew up In a small DC community, where everyone called me Nephew. Being out spoken, out-going, a natural leader, made me dear like a nephew to many in my hood. Before I learned my address, i was influenced by crime and drugs that dominated my community.

Roles switched in my family-culture. The women carried the families on their backs. Ummi, Nana, Auntie. Pops split. My stepfather, a trio of uncles, my older brother who was sentenced to life as a juvenile all went to prison. I did too eventually, and a host of cousins. 1in3's.

My family and me. My brother begged me to choose a different path. I did, with the help of Ummi, mentors and the community. I straddled two worlds. One where I would be in NYC's Chelsea Pier logging film tapes for Blowback Production. And another world where I would be holding on to the brotherhood in my southeast community. I've had my share of trouble, struggling with substance abuse. A lost and hopeless teen I was. I dropped out of high school in 2004. I regretted  that decision immediately after. I'd been attending G.E.D. and job readiness programs every since consistently.

In 2011, I went back to high school and earned my Diploma.  I was trying to be a role model for my young  son. I felt proud. Ummi smiled. That same year, I became a apprentice for the Washington DC Steamfitters Local 602 Union.. In other words I was on my way to making some nice, stable income. I had the opportunity to make 17 dollars my first year. In 2012, I applied for the federal application for student aid. I made plans to attend the University of the District of Columbia. I was going to be the first in my family to complete college. Build a legacy.

That never happened. In 2013, I was arrested, and later wrongfully convicted in 2015, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The judge allowed my court appointed lawyer and the prosecutors to suppress a confession statement made by my co-defendant, that he was indeed the driver. The jury at my trial never heard about that evidence.

In the blink of an eye, I was snatched from my family, my young son who was 4 at the time. 5 years into my bid, I sit in a federal prison in West Virginia awaiting a new and fair trial. My life hasn't been the same. I'm now responsible for telling this story. The story of young black men who is everyday mis-treated and mishandled by our Nations jails, courts and criminal justice sytem. 1 in 3's. 1 in 3 is me.

You can write me here: k.burnodc@gmail.com

 Kevin Burno

Kevin Burno