I wrote a "Free Forté" post a couple years ago (mostly to share his great blog). We were in prep for prep together, and since then lived a similar Miseducation of the Assimilated Negro path. He went to Exeter, I went to Choate. He started rapping, I started rapping. He canoodled with Lauryn Hill, I couldn't believe it and hated. He got locked up, I started a blog. The symmetry is remarkable!
I do think on the occasion of his freedom, it's worth noting that John will give many of us prep/assimilateds something we didn't have: a homey who got locked up.
You'll often find TANs are easily perturbed by those who would challenge their "Realness" just because they went to prep school. In one of my Ghetto Passes for Gawker, one of the commenters questioned my authenticity, and I threatened to put on brass knuckles and beat her face in.
I've since learned to take my meds when I write something for public consumption, but it gets to my point about sensitivity and defensiveness. Just because we took that assimilated road, doesn't mean we've forgotten where we came from. That's what special about this up-and-coming generation of TANs. The respect for the past, coupled with the unprecedented hope for tomorrow. Good times.
Anyways, I'll prob be less sensitive cause one of my old homeys just got his bid commuted. Now when I see him and we listen to "One Love" together (obviously), we can sing along to the lyrics with
Free John Forté