My Husband Punched a White Man and Nearly Spent 20 Years in Prison

When the law is not on your side, this is how quickly your life can unravel

Kerala Taylor
13 min readOct 15, 2021

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Photo via Canva.

The day started out like any other. When it ended, my boyfriend was in jail with a felony charge and a broken hand.

The back story is long and messy, but the events of that fateful day unfolded in a crisp, rapid succession. My boyfriend, who would soon become my husband, was having a drink at the neighborhood bar. It was about 5 o’clock in the afternoon. He had spent the morning sleeping after a 24-hour paramedic shift and was enjoying a rare day off.

Then his phone rang. It was his son’s mother. Let’s just say they were not on good terms; they hadn’t been on good terms for a number of years. We were preparing to move from Rhode Island to Washington DC, in part because it was proving impossible for my boyfriend to see his son without getting screamed at. Often in public. Better, we reasoned, for us to get sustained, quality time over summers and school breaks than to continue to put him in the middle of constant fighting.

We wanted to get custody, but we were bluntly advised that the chances of a Black father getting custody over a white mother were slim to none. No matter that she had broken into his house and cut up all his…

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Kerala Taylor

Award-winning writer. Interrupting notions of what it means to be a mother, woman, worker, and wife. Subscribe: https://keralataylor.substack.com