Formerly Incarcerated Man "Learned How to Enjoy Fighting" from His Mother

Season 4 Episode 420
Aired on 11/11/2017 | CC tv-14
At age 16, Lamar shot another teenager in front of multiple witnesses and subsequently spent the next 22 years of his life in prison. In sharing his story with Iyanla, Lamar, now 40, describes how his upbringing in Atlanta's Jonesboro South housing projects and his mother's teachings soon drove him toward a life in the streets and, ultimately, violence.

"My first day in the housing projects, I get beat up. And my mom teaches me how to survive in this situation," Lamar says. "My mother and my sister taught me how to fight. And then she drilled it into me. ... I learned not only how to fight; I learned how to enjoy fighting."

Here, Lamar describes the encounter that landed him in prison, and Iyanla makes a profound observation about why Lamar and other formerly incarcerated individuals often struggle in the months and years after their release.

Part 2 of this episode airs Saturday, November 18, at 9/8c.