Some people are born to enter the world and others are born to change it. The enterers, also known as the imposters, are needed to distract the Governments of the World from realizing that the changers are being groomed. Grooming came about in response to the Government’s total criminalization of key populations. As a result, God eventually determined that chosen children needed to be groomed.

I was groomed on April 29, 1992. While my mother shrieked with labor pains waiting for the ambulance that never came, I was delivered into the hands of our next-door neighbor. His hands were rough and fat knuckled with wrinkles like road maps and his fingers smelled of soot and ash. I recall him mumbling that I was smaller than he hoped, but I was very alert. He assured a woman in white standing next to him that I would do.

My mom kept begging to go the hospital, but the entire area of south Los Angeles was on fire. What would later be strategically labeled as the LA Riots was happening outside of the bathroom of her tiny apartment window. A civil unrest following the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers videotaped beating an unarmed man, had turned the city of my birthplace into a powder keg. My newborn cries were drowned out by sirens and then, as sudden as my distressing birth, the woman in white carried me away.

You know someone is groomed by a slight marking under his or her eyelid. It is hardly noticeable in day-to-day interaction, but if you watch them sleep their eyelids jump as if being held together by a rubber band ready to snap. The groomed learn to rely on little sleep because 24 hours is not enough time to maximize the training required of the groomed. Schooling in the areas of cultural consciousness, law, self-defense, economics, plant based farming, science, government and the arts happen as early as preschool. Ideological intonations are also sung to them starting at infancy.

When a groomed child looks at themselves in the mirror they are taught to see ancient kings and queens. A crown adorned in magnificent jewels appears atop tightknit curls and brilliant brown skin. The groomed also have chests that swell with pride making them impervious to the perceptions of black children depicted in society. They have a designated purpose appointed at birth because any successful revolution requires the patience of many decades. This strategic planning of a groomed child happens at the harvest camp where the ladies in white midwife for young mothers and then train them to be ladies in white for others.

The only problem with my birth, with my grooming, with the fractured attempts to turn me into a change agent for the greater good, was the fact that my mother wasn’t a willing resident of the harvest camp. She was a widowed wife, having lost my father in a construction accident three months before my birth; she was a woman of full maturity who had suffered through many miscarriages to finally give birth to her only son and the man with the fat hands and the lady in white stole her baby away from her.

I imagine this is one of the many reasons why I always hung out on the fringes of the revolution. A revolution designed to have me and my groomed brothers and sisters infiltrate the justice system, the banking industry, medical research, farming, education and art found me in abortive situations where I couldn’t quite fit in. To make matters worse I was supposed to be the chosen changer. I was born with fire raging around me and the Headmistress of the harvest camp was certain a son born during the L.A. unrest would avenge the cries of an entire city. Needless to say, this was a lot of pressure handed down in the first two minutes of life. And then came the lasers. Hues of purple and red aimed into my retinas sending encoded messages to my optic nerves all while my mother whispered into my bent ear. It sounded like Jay or James, but the lady in white said we shall call you Alexander.

And so, for 15 years I went by the name of Alexander, Alex for short. I lived at the harvest camp just a few hours outside of Los Angeles where an untenanted church was our school, the mountains our playground and the view of the city our revelatory muse. We were never allowed to go to the city until we were 15. At that time we were enrolled in traditional school prepared to outshine all of our peers with our discipline and scholastic knowledge. The perception was that harvest kids were from a foster program making our academic prowess even more of an admiral trait. We also excelled in music, sports and debate while impressing our teachers with our unparalleled strength of character and of mind. Our pledge: “Look sharp, be sharp, and when the time is right penetrate the barriers that have limited our people like a piercing dagger.”

I was kicked out of the harvest camp 48 hours after my 15th birthday. I was a prodigal disappointment every birthday leading up to this. On my 9th birthday I started a campfire and then began to stoke the fire until it spread beyond the borders of the pit.

Why? screeched my harvest mom, Alice. Why would you do such a thing?

Simply put. “I like the smell of fire.”

On my 12th birthday I asked one too many questions about the city at the base of the mountain.

“How am I supposed to be the light in a city filled with nothing but lights?”

My doubt articulated a betrayal of the mission, which paled in comparison to the day I left my recently enrolled school without permission changing from my uniform of tan trousers and a collared shirt into jeans and an all black hoodie. It was the hoodie that changed everything. And this was precisely the moment my real renaissance began.

Ryane Nicole Granados is a Los Angeles native and she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in various publications as well as live performances including Gravel, The Manifest-Station, Mutha Magazine, Specter Magazine, FORTH Magazine, The Good Men Project, Expressing Motherhood, The Nervous Breakdown and most recently Scary Mommy. Additionally, she teaches English at Golden West College and has authored a student success manual entitled Tips from an Unlikely Valedictorian. The manual offers experiential anecdotes and scholastic advice inspired by her experience graduating from Loyola Marymount University as their first ever African American Valedictorian. Ryane is best described as a wife, writer, teacher and mom who laughs loud and hard, even in the most difficult of circumstances. As a result, she hopes her writing will inspire, challenge, amuse and motivate thinking that cultivates positive change. More of her work can be found at or Twitter: Ryane Granados @awriterslyfe