The Reading Corner and Literary Tips

Thursday, January 22, 2009

God Saved His Life

By Rose Jackson-Beavers

In Kareem’s words, It doesn’t matter how, why or when you find God, but it’s important that you do find Him.” Now, he wants the world to know that he knew God even before he was ever incarcerated. He was young and smart, yet easily impressed by the wrong things. He was this way because he wanted to support his mother and siblings. After his father left his family to fend for themselves, he felt he had to be a man, so he turned to the streets to save his family from economic depravity. Kareem graduated from being a sweet, honest young man to a hardened street thug. He sold drugs and did whatever it took to make a dollar. It didn’t start that way for him, but the more seasoned thugs told him that in order to survive Charlotte’s hard streets of crime he would have to become coldhearted. See, if you are coldhearted you can’t feel the pain of what your negative choices have done. Unfortunately, for the young seventeen-year-old, being in the streets and being a part of a powerful negative element made him realize that if he didn’t do something he was going to die early.

Knowing no other way to undo his negative ways, he got on his knees and asked God to save him, to take him off the streets. He needed God to help him because the streets consumed him with all of its evilness. God answered his prayer, and three months later he was arrested for selling drugs and being a part of what was called the West Charlotte Posse street gang.

Kareem informed Rose Jackson-Beavers that he had no regrets about being incarcerated. He was paying for his sins, and God saved him from certain death. That is where he felt he was heading, if God had not intervened. The kind of life he was leading would eventually land him in one of three places—the grave, jail or hospitalized in a perilous condition.

Although God gave him another chance, unfortunately for Kareem the system didn’t. He wasn’t treated fairly. As most young African Americans are unjustly convicted, so was he. For one thing, he was transferred from juvenile to adult status illegally. With nearly seventeen years in prison, he was known as the youngest member of the alleged notorious West Charlotte Posse of Charlotte, North Carolina. Robbing drug dealers, selling coke and even heroin, Kareem appeared before a federal district court judge as a juvenile. He received forty-five years and was sent off, not to a Federal Juvenile Correctional Institution, but to a Federal United States Penitentiary where the government sent all alleged hardened criminals. He has been incarcerated for an extended period of time as a direct result of unjust laws and a district court judge abusing his discretion by illegally allowing him to be tried as an “Adult” defendant and not as a “Juvenile” defendant.After settling down enough to see his way through the fog of the underworld life and ways of thuggism, Kareem devoted himself to a life that leads to positive growth and development. He credits his journey of change to his personal relationship with Jesus Christ and The Autobiography of Malcolm X…. Now with a passion for writing, Kareem has completed his first novel, Death, No Exceptions!

Death, No Exceptions! is a story of uncompromising revenge. The story is not an attempt to glorify the street way of life, but to paint a picture to readers about how far some human beings will go to hurt and harm others over material things that are here today and gone tomorrow. Tomblin wanted to show just how much damage and pain an individual can cause when he/she is being motivated by the negative spirit of uncompromising revenge.

Kareem said he wanted to help others stay out of jail and do the right thing. He encourages fathers to remain visible and involved with their children. He does feel that if his father was in the home and had pulled his coattail he would be a different person today.

He also feels that God works in mysterious ways. He asked God for a publisher and a way to make an earnest living. He went back to school to get his General Education Diploma and earned a certificate equivalent to an associate’s degree and he spends more than three hours everyday in the library studying law or anything he can get his hands on. He believes that education is the key to success in life. Though he knows that had it not been for imprisonment he would still be an uneducated young man. In wanting to help other teenagers navigate away from the streets, he works with and counsels young men entering into the prison system. For some it is not too late to change.

Another thing that God did for him was send a prisoner to where he is housed who hailed from East St. Louis and often read the East St. Louis Monitor newspaper. It was the East St. Louis Monitor that contained an article requesting submissions for Prioritybooks Publications. Not only did the publisher reach out to him, he found that he was working with a Christian who not only talked about God, but encouraged him to remain faithful to Him. Now, almost ten months later, he is a published author with several books coming out to help teens remain focused on the positive way of life. He does intend to write about thug life but not without telling the truth about how the streets will wax your heart cold. All of his work will lead people to understand that God is calling them to save their lives.

Kareem is thankful for God, his family, Prioritybooks Publications and the East St. Louis Monitor. He is grateful that God made it possible for the newspaper to be in the hands of another prisoner at the right time. He also prays that God will lead an attorney who is willing to look at his case and the documented evidence to free him from bondage. Finally, Kareem hopes that readers will enjoy his books and put them in the hands of young men who need to know that all that glitters is not gold. If pure gold is what they desire, they should look to God who promised us that if we live for Him we can walk on Heaven’s Golden Streets.

For more information about Death, No Exceptions! or to schedule an interview with Kareem Tomblin call Prioritybooks at 314-306-2972 or write to You may also contact the author: Kareem Tomblin #10119-058, Federal Correction Center, Post Office Box 52020/Unit B-2 Bennettsville, SC., 29512. Death, No Exceptions! is available at, If it is not on the shelf, ask for it.

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