Project Hope ... to abolish the death penalty
Darrell B. Grayson was born 2.26.61. He was raised in Montevallo, Alabama with 11 siblings in a single parent household. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade, and with no prior criminal history, received the death penalty from an all white jury at age 19. After some years of severe depression, which he describes as spending flat on his back, the death of his mother brought about the decision to do what he could to better himself. He began to write poetry and received his GED and Associate Science degree.
In 1994 Darrell became active in Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty, an organization founded and run by deathrow-inmates. In 2000 he became its chairman. Under Darrell Grayson's strong leadership, PHADP was restructured and became a 501 C3 organization. It received its first grant, doubled attendance at its vigils and became a member of other grassroots organizations in Alabama. He took over the editing and formating of Wings of Hope, the PHADP newsletter, which up to then had been done on the outside.
His poetry, which he defines as "a contagion of insecurities", reveals Darrell Grayson to be a spiritual, sensitive writer with a deep love of life and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Recently a fellow poet interrupted a reading of his own poetry in Birmingham and read Darrell's "Universal Song," moving many in the audience to tears. He speaks with a unique voice to the power of the human spirit to live in darkness without being vanquished by it. "Oh, teach me the meaning of tenderness, dear skies".
Esther Brown was recently introduced to us by Britta Slopianka, our new contributing writer, reporting from Germany on the death penalty. Esther is executive secretary/treasurer of Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty based in Lanett, Alabama. Her e-mail address is email@example.com. Mr. Grayson's Poetry can be found in the poetry section on Axis of Logic.