April is National Poetry Month.

This is an article about the importance of Poetry, Paintoems, ways to express and heal oneself prior to incarceration, during incarceration, or eliminate incarceration altogether, and a way to make money that’ll pay the bills.

What I’ve always loved is the history of poetry, because it allows anyone to express happiness, grief, and beauty, drawing a visual picture in the readers’ mind to explore the passage of time storytelling to pass on to future generations, and will encourage others to use this creative expression with their path in life.

Many people in state prisons grew up facing serious challenges

Prison Policy Initiative[ info@prisonpolicy.org]

This is the truth and while the graph depicts a source from 2016 this is still the hard cold truth.

I know a youth who was in Foster Care, Group Homes, Juvenile Hall, Jail, and now Prison. However, I bet him that he could graduate high school and he did in 2007. For an English Project, he had to write a Poetry Book with eight various types of poems. It was intense!

This is his Memory Poem – he managed to get himself from San Jose, California to San Francisco, California to see the Giants play a Baseball game at night.

Memory Poem

When I was 12, I went to my first baseball game in San Francisco to watch the Giants play at night.

Everything was just right.

I went to the game because I thought Barry Bonds might hit a home run.

The light on the field was bright so I could see alright.

The Giant’s uniforms were white.

When Barry Bond’s hit a home run like I predicted it was very tight.

One of the pitchers came close to hitting the batter in the head and there was almost a fight.

Seeing the Giants win at my first ever baseball game was a beautiful sight!

A High School Teacher who is pouring his heart and soul into teaching students who come from low-income families.

Mr. Ellis Stephens, High School Teacher on the Eastside of San Jose.

[Mr. Ellis Stephens]

Grades 9-12

Half of the students are from low‑income households

This project will reach 80 students.

15 donors have given to this project.

My Project

Time love and dedication that I put into the art projects in my class allows me to take risks with enriching projects. We do everything from 3D printing, Graffiti art, logo design, and a ton of other great projects.

Last week, my classroom was broken into and the thieves made off with almost all of my expensive equipment.

Despite my school’s efforts to secure my stuff and hire overnight security, they broke in again and stole more stuff. I’ve calculated over $3k+ of missing equipment including my large concert speaker, a Silhouette cutting machine, 3D printer, document camera, toolbox with tools, Dremel cutting tool, projector, and my Super Nintendo that the students used for lunchtime fun, over 500 graffiti markers and much more.

I’m devastated that someone would do this to a school. Especially, a place where I’ve poured my heart and soul into. I’m seeking help for some of the items to be replaced. If you’re in the position to help me out, I would really appreciate it and you would be helping future art students the opportunity to continue using this great equipment.

The Healing Project documents experiences of incarceration, structural violence, and policing in the United States, while highlighting strategies of community care that imagine and nourish another world. “It’s my attempt to communicate an abolitionist vision,” Pinderhughes says. 

Mr. Samora Pinderhughes [https://www.samorapinderhughes.com/]

On Saturday, at 8:00 p.m., April 2, 2022, I enthusiastically went to the very beautiful Bing Concert Hall Studio completed in 2017, for a Live Event of Samora Pinderhughes Healing Project hosted by Stanford Live. 

Here is my experience.  I was running late to the event. I used my GPS navigation system rather than using my knowledge of the Stanford Campus. I walked the Stanford campus so many times when I worked there that I knew where Bing Concert Hall was. The GPS system took me the  long way to arrive at Bing Concert Hall. It was dusk and I had to be careful of looking out for the students on their bikes at the stoplights. I arrived at the Bing Concert Hall at 7:55 p.m. I was greeted graciously by the door women. I provided my ID, Ticket, and Covid Vaccination card. All of which I had to provide to enter as well as a mask. I had a large envelope that was not sealed and everything fell out of the envelope. Both of the women who monitored the entrance helped me pick up the contents and told me not to worry, that I was late and could still attend. 

I found a seat close to the stage. To my surprise, I was sitting in the back of the performer’s parents. The mother of Samora Pinderhughes asked my name and we conversed. I provided her with the envelope and she put it in her tote bag. She stated that she would be sure that Samora met me personally.  I thought I was going to the auditorium, however, I was in a studio that held probably a hundred people. The studio was clean with hanging lights, a small stage for the performers, and a piano. 

When the performers arrived on the stage it was stunning to see Marcus Shelby the Cellist, Howard Wiley the Drummer, and Elena Pinderhughes the flutist. It was equally exciting and emotional to see Samora Pinderhuges on the Piano. I started to have tears rolling down my cheeks which could be hidden with a mask on after Samora played “Holding Cell.”  It was an emotional performance to experience being there. Halfway through the performance his mother turned around and asked me, “how did I like the performance so far.”  I responded by saying, “I love it but I’m not coming back to another because I cried at the beginning.” She responded to me by saying “this is what Samora wants, the audience to feel emotion.” 

Summing it all up this was more than I expected in terms of the beautiful Bing Studio, the hospitality, and most importantly the performance which centered on the harm of the Prison Industrial Complex, and highlighted the voices of incarcerated individuals. After the show, his mother insisted that I wait for him to meet him personally one on one. I waited and was thrilled to meet Samora who took a picture holding a card I prepared of Incarceration Nation and a Paintoem by C-Note. 

Incarceration Nation is an original work of ink, graphite, and wax on paper. Done by Donald “C-Note” Hooker in 2017. The painting was inspired by the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in August of 2017 and is the sequel to his first political work Black August-Los Angeles. The red dots represent the location of the state-sanctioned deaths of Travon Martin in Florida; Michael Brown in Missouri; Sandra Bland in Texas; Philando Castile in Minnesota; Freddie Gray in Maryland; Ezell Ford, Wakiesha Wilson, Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) & Oscars Grant in California; and Charleen Lyles in Washington State. The poem written later in the year was inspired by the NFL player’s “Knee Protest.”

” I was looking at other iconic American verbal expressions of patriotism,” says C-Note. “And My Country, Tis of Thee, also known as ‘America,’ is probably third on that list. The creative juices to create the poem had nothing to do with the painting; however, together they make an excellent one-two punch, as a political work of art.”

All paintoems are classified as Creative Commons (CC). This means the public has the right to freely use these works as long as the artist or artists are acknowledged. Paintoems come out of the world of prison art.

Paintoems were created by C-Note.

I wrote to C-Note about this event. C-Note asked if I could share his Paintoem Incarceration Nation with Samora. C-Note also asked if I could get a picture of Samora holding the flyer. I created the flyer with the paintoem, dated at the bottom, and gave Special thanks to Samora Pinderhuges, Bing Concert Hall Studio, and Stanford Live. 

Celebration of an African-American Poet and his Poetry.

C-Note [https://www.c-note.org/]

About C-Note. He is the world’s leader in the Prisoner Art Movement. It is the most influential contemporary art. In Poetry, Rap came from prison. As a result, Hip Hop is the largest music genre on the planet. Other works in poetry are about the travails of being Black in America, such as, Can’t Black Lives Matter Too???,[33] and American Negro: A Migrant Story.[34] Can’t Black Lives, was created as a work of performance poetry for his final exam for California State University, San Bernardino’s Prison Arts Collective’s inaugural performance poetry course. American Negro was written specifically for the 2019 Black Migration theme of the 29th Celebration of African-American Poets and Their Poetry. Other poems of note, are the painting and paintoem, Incarceration Nation,[35] and the epic poem, THE CRIMINALIZATION OF OUR AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (This Is Not A Manifesto), also known as the American Illiad.[36] Incarceration was recited at the 28th Celebration of African American Poets and Their Poetry;[37] Tho Her Name Is Not Gibraltar She’s Still Called The Rock, was on display at the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright’s, Marin County Civic Center Complex at the Marin County Free Library’s Anne T. Kent California Room;[38] while Angelic Tempest, was recited before a room full of venture capitalist, CEOs, and other professionals at Defy Ventures SoCal’s 2018 graduating Commencement Address.[39]Some of his writings include, “The Untapped Potential of Prison Art”,[40] “Neo Jim Crow: Black Art Movements and Its 21st Descendants”,[41] “The Importance of Women in the Struggle: Emphasis on the Black Woman’s Voice”,[42] “What if Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now had Covered the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March”,[43] “The Myth of Intersectionality to Women of Color”,[44] and “Due process in the Era of Me Too”.[45]


Poetry as an oral art form likely predates written text.[1] The earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung, employed as a way of remembering oral history, genealogy, and law. Poetry is often closely related to musical traditions,[2] and the earliest poetry exists in the form of hymns (such as the work of Sumerian priestess Enheduanna), and other types of song such as chants. As such poetry is a verbal art. Many of the poems surviving from the ancient world are recorded prayers, or stories about religious subject matter, but they also include historical accounts, instructions for everyday activities, love songs,[3] and fiction. 

The word poet, which has been in use in English for more than 600 years, comes from the Greek word poiētēs, itself from poiein, meaning “to make.” The word also shares an ancestor with the Sanskrit word cinoti, meaning “he gathers, heaps up.”

In April 2022, Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker is celebrating Poetry month and has chosen how it is now being used for Social Inequalities, the Prison Industrial Complex and to highlight one artist, C-Note, and his poetry and how it provides oral history to these issues including giving voice to women’s issues. 

Be sure to click over to the Home Page to check out the over 200 Art Museum Quality prints for sale by C-Note.


I am a Fine Art and Real Estate Broker with 40 years of experience in all aspects of the Real Estate Industry. A member of the National Association of REALTORS®. I advocate for Prison Artist C-Note. With the right wall art, your room will go from functional to functionally enchanting. 

Contact me for your Fine Art & Real Estate problems.

If you have additional information, my audience and I would love to hear about it. Tell us about it in the reply.