The Fence by Apollo with Jess Mowry, all rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work by any means except short excerpts for use in reviews. The Kindle edition, to date, is the only legally authorized ebook or web-accessible edition of this work. If you find this book being offered anywhere else, either as a download or to be read online, it is there without the author's permission (aka STOLEN PROPERTY) and in violation of copyright law.
In the near future, and after many thousands of years of hate, racism, religious and ethnic persecution, bloody conquests, inequality, exploitation and war, the world’s people are finally beginning to come together, most realizing that none will truly be free until everyone is. There is peace in the Middle-east; most countries have abolished sweat-shops and now trade fairly with each another. There is also a young United Africa, a truly democratic society, which has solved most of its problems and is becoming a significant power.
Peace and renewed economic prosperity have also come to the United States of America: crime and violence have been drastically reduced; this accomplished in part by the Federal Resettlement and Environmental Enforcement Act... or FREE.
FREE Corporation, which had previously built and operated privatized prisons throughout the U.S., and having decades of experience with behavior modification, re-education and putting prisoners to profitable work, was contracted by the government on a multi-billion dollar scale to solve America’s problems of gangs, guns, drugs and violence in black inner cities. This resulted in a massive Resettlement and building huge walls -- politely referred to as Fences -- around most black “ghettoes,” and a Re-education and training program to make the inhabitants peaceful and productive FREE Citizens.
It also created two separate classes of black Americans: Afromericans, those who live on the Outside, and FREE Citizens Inside the Fences. However, as with virtually all Americans no matter what color, neither Insiders nor Outsiders know anything about each other except what they’re shown on their television screens and what the government and FREE Corporation chooses to tell them.
It has been almost two decades since the Fences went up, and the System appears to be a success: besides eliminating violence, gangs and crime in its ghettoes, the U.S, has once again become competitive in the world market, mostly thanks to FREE Citizen labor... so much so that China has many things made by “FCs,” who also process much of the world’s electronic data at carefully filtered terminal centers.
Inside the Fences, formerly poor black people who were once plagued by drugs, gangs and black-on-black crime, now seem to be living the American dream; all having what most of middle-class America has -- safe neighborhoods patrolled by FREE Corporation’s smiling “Security Sentries,” clean and comfortable housing, and an abundance of food and personal property (Per-Prop) -- and most wouldn’t venture Outside... even if they could.
Most older or “pre-FENCE” FCs, have been successfully reeducated and have all but forgotten the bad old days of gangstuhs and thugs, while those born Inside -- such as 16-year-old Simba Carter, a Citizen of FREE’s Los Angeles, California South Central Fence... the first Fence, and FREE Corporation’s model Fence -- know nothing about the Outside except what FREE tells them, and nothing about history or the pre-Fence days except what they’re taught in FREE schools.
Simba, whose FREE-Choice Career Assignment is Data Processing Technician (DPT) would be perfectly happy with his life, if not for his pre-Fence father constantly dissing the System and trying to educate Simba to what he calls reality... that FREE Citizens are slaves, and the most hopeless kind because they’re slaves in their minds. This troubles Simba because it goes against everything FREE has taught him.
But it isn’t until an accident puts Simba Outside locked in a railroad boxcar, only to end up Inside the West Oakland, California Fence, that he sees the truth with his own eyes. Then, together with a posse of unlikely freedom fighters -- boys no older than he -- and an Outside girl who calls herself a New Black Panther, he tries to tell this truth to the world and bring the Fences down.
A "black 1984," 0riginally written in 1994 when the author was only fourteen, The Fence manuscript was optioned for a feature-length film and is even more pertinent today.