Shadow and Act has the exclusive premiere from The Resident star Malcolm-Jamal Warner featuring his spoken word poem, “Comfort Food.” The poem tackles America’s problems with its penal system and advocates for prison abolition. The poem and video were composed, recorded and shot by Warner and edited by Nathan Anderson.
“As society, we have been conditioned to be creatures of comfort,” Warner said in a statement “We artificially sweeten inconvenient truths to make us feel good. We hold onto lies to make us feel right. Imagine a society where we all feast on love and nurture each other in a way that uplifts every individual’s inner light.”
Warner created the poem to take part in the Visualizing Abolition Exhibit. He said he underwent copious amounts of research, the most he’s had to do, for this particular poem.
“When Terri Lyne Carrington invited me to contribute to the Visualizing Abolition Exhibit, I immediately said yes,” he said. “Leading the world in incarceration rates, United States’ prison system is in dire need of an overhaul. Restorative justice takes the backseat to punitive justice. And I cannot ignore how the implementation of this system post-Civil War, along with the wording of the 13th Amendment, directly relates to the disproportionate number of Black and Brown bodies swept up in the business of mass incarceration.”
“But what would our country look like if focus was shifted and placed on preventative measures such as economic and educational equity and the other psychological and social ills that are so often the cause for crime in the first place?” he asked. “When writing this poem, I was greatly inspired by stories of incarcerated and restored prisoners including John L.’s Monroe Correctional Complex, Dr. Daniel Geiter, from Naperville, and poems of Reginald Dwayne Betts.“
Take a look at the video below: