Solitary confinement or the box as we call it is a jail within a jail. It’s a place where prisoners go to be reprimanded for violating prison rules. They keep you Locked in a 5 foot 7 inch cell for 23 hours a day with only one hour for isolated recreation. No TV’s, no visits, no phone calls; just you and your thoughts. It’s enough to make a man go crazy, and many have.
Frank C. Matthews was doing a 10 year bid for conspiracy and drug trafficking when he got caught up in a petty beef in prison which landed him in the box for a year. Frank didn’t let the time in solitary get the best of him instead he took advantage of the restraints and dug deep inside his creative self and found his true talent. He wasn’t satisfied with the books he was reading so Mr. Matthews took his pen and note pad and started writing his own book called ‘Respect The Jux’. It’s a book about the secret society of thieves that specialize in armed robberies (Jux’s).
The marketing, promotion and distribution skills that Frank acquired from the streets were quickly put to use once he was released from prison. He self published his book and got his grind game on for real. The Homie started soliciting the NY jails which was an ingenious move considering the content in the book was synonymous to the actions of the incarcerated. He also distributed the book to hip hop artists and mom and pop stores. Frank managed to put the jails along with the streets in a head lock and the buzz got crazy; even 50 cent mentioned his book in a rhyme. It gets better… Director F. Gary Gray Just acquired the film and television rights. Looks like a mini series could be in the making, not to mention the publishing powerhouse company Simon and Schuster gave Mr. Matthews a publishing deal.
Despite Frank Matthews’s success, he insists on giving back in a big way. He created the Dream Ink Foundation. The Foundation seeks to channel the frustrations, passions and aspirations of disenfranchised communities into creative outlets. “We are dedicated to harnessing creative spirits, by allowing the urban storytellers of the next generation to flourish through the implementation of literary programs, coveted scholarships and mentorships”.
Frank C. Matthews could have easily turned into a feces throwing madman while in solitary confinement. He could have harnessed ill feelings, aggression and lack of patience, which could have lead to him returning to prison just like the 1 out of every 3 released. But instead he exercised patience, perseverance and persistence to overcome the odds and the obstacles. There’s no easy way to success especially for the previously incarcerated but, if you find your talent, focus on your goals and put God first you can accomplish anything and Mr. Matthews is proof. Click here to check out his site.