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"Dr. L.A. McCrae is the truth. I know. I’ve experienced the power!"

- The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, Dean, The New Theology School

I was sitting at the Alex Haley Farm right outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, listening to Marian Wright Edelman speak. I was mesmerized. Literally, I was standing on the land of my Ancestors in East Tennessee at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in 2008. It was a magical experience. There, from the CDF president, I heard the term “cradle-to-prison” pipeline. I had no idea that years later, by the pushing and persistence of white supremacy culture, that I would be involved in the system of mass incarceration. This book travels from the land of my Ancestors and their lives down through the generations to the youngest and only daughter of my parents. You join the journey of a young, queer, Black child navigating the waves of white supremacy while simultaneously experiencing trauma, abuse, pathologization, and criminalizaton. Ultimately, this led to the need for escape. And I found my way to drugs and ultimately, on the other side of a needle shooting up cocaine. This was after I was ordained. Yet. There is hope. There is hope in the movements of life and the twelve movements offered for your consideration and healing. I found myself, literally, on the streets of Baltimore City, left for dead. And finally, I could admit: I hurt. But this isn’t just a story about hurting, addiction, or jail… it is a story about resilience and healing. I welcome you and invite you on this journey, the faith in the Great Believing, and this project of liberation.


From Nothing to Something. Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts, and Shorts on Recovery

The Intro
by Kayla Fritts & Dr. L.A. McCrae, CSC-AD

These poems are written by survivors of addiction, PTSD, physical, and mental abuse. These poems reflect our experience with substance use, trauma, and other co-occurring disorders. These poems reflect our shared experiences in recovery, too.

We all have a story to tell and we have all been through the struggle. But now we are fighting through all of our pain, heartbreak, and trauma moving towards healing and this project of liberation.

We are survivors and our stories are not over yet!

We are free again.

We found in each other that we shared experiences of struggle and triumph. We found that we’ve been through the lows of life. We’ve been dopesick and through alcohol withdrawal. We’ve pushed our kids and family away. We’ve been homeless and have done things for money that we would never do sober. We would do whatever we needed to get our fix.

We take one day at a time. We work together to help each other with our triggers, cravings and most importantly: our recovery.

These poems are our stories and we share them with you to let you know that you are not alone.



and other thoughts about love, being, and becoming

In this piece, L.A. brings you their raw and unfiltered experiences through exquisite and at times, intense poetry. Their poems capture the intensity of their experience and leave the reader almost smelling the water and the air from the Hudson River while grasping their chest in a lover’s desire. Their poems also remind the reader of the places where prospective love has allowed our imaginations to explore the depths and possibilities of another human. L.A. does not stop there, they expand on the hard things like the experience of being a person of color in relation to racist policing and hearing their own mother’s desperation in prayers for their safety.

L.A. eloquently captures the soulful human experience of curiosity as it relates to embodying pain and loving someone and wondering if they might love us back. As a reader prepare for a raw journey on living and loving in new and evolved ways with the poetry of L.A. McCrae!

from the Hudson Valley
Poughkeepsie, New York
October 2022

Publications: Causes
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