Art Saved My Life
Jessie Milo says his father taught him two things that changed, and ultimately saved his life. When Jessie was a baby, he said his dad would bring him along to rob houses. And as he grew up, he watched his father and many other men in his community do time like it was just a normal part of life. It wasn’t long until Jessie went to prison.
But what transformed Jessie’s life, and gave him hope was the second thing his father taught him –– art. When Jessie was at his lowest, it was drawing, poetry, and getting his work published that turned his life around. On this episode of Uncuffed, the team at San Quentin reflects on Jessie’s story, generational trauma, and what creativity means to them inside prison.
I was fearful about changing my life, because I was worried about how my father would judge me. When I did change my life, I got to see my father and, like, he didn't even trip. He was just like, you know, 'you okay in here'?Jessie Milo
This story was produced by Timothy Hicks and Ryan Pagan with help from Angela Johnston and Ninna Gaensler-Debs, and sound designer Eric Maserati-E Abercrombie.
This piece was brought to you by the team at Uncuffed. Our work in prisons is supported by the California Arts Council, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and donations from listeners like you. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. Content is approved by an information officer.
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