Dashaun “Jiwe” Morris talks about his Save My Son experience and shares his philosophy on helping troubled youth. This Bloods gang member turned author, mentor and clothing designer has more in common with these young men than you can imagine.
TV ONE: Tell us about your journey.
JIWE: I started the Bloods [gang] in Jersey in the 90s. I’m one of the older guys now. I’ve transformed and now spend my time being productive.
TV ONE: You were also on the documentary Brick City.
JIWE: Yes. I was on trial in 2010 and it was featured on Brick City. I was acquitted on 7 counts.
TV ONE: Your journey has definitely had its ups and downs. What’s next for you.
JIWE: My book, War of the Bloods in My Veins: A Street Soldiers March Toward Redemption, is currently being turned into a screenplay. I recently went to Africa with a friend who was a child soldier and a documentary was produced entitled Soldiers of Peace, that will be coming out soon. Finally, I recently launched a clothing line named TYMZ 7 which represents the 7 counts of not guilty I beat during my 2010 trial. We don’t appreciate freedom until it’s taken. I almost lost my freedom. I so appreciate everything.
TV ONE: Tell us how you were a part of Save My Son – the episode featuring 14 year old Barry “Bubba” Hill from Newark, NJ
JIWE: I received a call from the production company and I took them around the neighborhood to meet a few people. The end decision was theirs but they were most compelled by Bub’s story.
TV ONE: What issues of Bub’s were you most familiar with?
JIWE: That area is gang infested with nothing but Bloods. Bub is in a house full of women. He has no space. He doesn’t like coming home. I know. I thought it would be good for him to connect with a professional. When I was told there would be resources for the youth profiled on the show I was all in. It was a winner! A lot of people come with cameras and roll out but this was different. They were committed to providing resources as well.
TV ONE: Is there a common missing link you see in these young men?
JIWE: Definitely. I really didn’t have a relationship with my dad either. We [men] just don’t know what we leave our sons to deal with when we can’t get it right with the mother. We as men have to get beyond that. Boys are growing up bitter and sour. I am the product of that. I grew up wondering what my dad looked like. I didn’t met my father until I was 18. There is nothing better than being there for your child. No child support can substitute that. That’s what we [men] fail to realize.
TV ONE: What was it like working with Dr. Steve Perry?
JIWE: I’ve worked with Dr. Perry before. I actually met him in ’06. I just came home in ’05 and I was doing a lot of speaking engagements and he reached out to me. I went and spoke at his school and I got to see how he interacts with his students and how the kids respect him. He is restoring the foundation of manhood. To see him interact with his students even down to the way he teaches them to tie a tie. We just don’t get that in the hood.
TV ONE: How can we help these young adults?
JIWE: A lot of these youngsters just want to be validated. Everybody is trying to find themselves. There are thousands of “Bubs” out here. This show is the platform to motivate others to go out in your own community and put them on track to accomplish their goals. These youngsters are not trying to hear speeches about be all you can be. Kids want action and that is what this show does. Those that are in a position to do something need to pay it forward.