Two San Quentin Prisoners Amplify Their Voices With “Ear Hustle” Podcast

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The stories of life in prison aren’t reserved for those on the inside only. For Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods, their incarceration serves as an outlet to not only amplify their voices but the voices of their fellow inmates as well.

According to BBC, the San Quentin men launched a podcast called “Ear Hustle” where they provide a mic and essentially a platform for other prisoners to talk about their experience behind bars. According to The Marshall Project, Williams was detained for armed robbery and received a 15-year sentence. Woods was charged with attempted second-degree robbery and has crossed off 19 years of his 31-year sentence.

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The podcast is also co-produced by California State University professor Nigel Poor. In an interview with Quartz, Poor stressed the fact that once a person is imprisoned, society tends to forget about them. However, through “Ear Hustle,” that sentiment can become a thing of the past. “It doesn’t have to be like this, that the door that just slams and all of the sudden there’s this population that is just invisible to people,” Poor said.

For Williams, the podcast can be used as a form of therapy or an escape from everyday life in prison.

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“We make sure the guys that are involved off the top know we’re not here to place any kind of blame, any kind of shame, but we need the truth,” Williams said. “Just to have them sit in front of a microphone and to confess to the wrongs they’ve done, to own up, to take complete responsibility, be transparent about some things that have altered their lives forever. I’ve seen a lot of guys shut down and not want to say anything. But San Quentin has created an environment that is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced — an environment where you can start to be vulnerable.”