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Michael "OG LAW" Ta'Bon a True Philadelphia O.G Story!

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

Michael OG Law Ta’Bon born in Philadelphia, PA to blind parents and yet has been blessed with vision beyond his circumstances. Michael, first picked up a pencil at four years old and began to draw as a hobby that turned into a survival mechanism when he was sent to prison. While in prison, Michael took the first steps into becoming a thought leader, developing ideas while on the inside that would help people get out of prison and stay out. As well as, to help prevent youth from going into prison in the first place. Michael found through years of study that music, art, and drama are the most effective ways to breakdown communication barriers, and build relationships that enable him to reach the youth. Ta’Bon got his first sentence at the age of 16 on a car theft charge. By his own account, he was a stickup kid, a barber and a drug dealer. At 24, he robbed a Clover store on North Broad Street located in Philadelphia, PA. Approaching the register, he raised his shirt to show a pistol tucked into his belt. Caught and convicted, Ta’Bon served seven years before being paroled in 2005. Ta'Bon was released and witness rising violence; 2006 was one of Philadelphia’s deadliest years in decades. After witnessing the death of a child, in the final moments of a basketball game at a local community center. Ta’Bon conceived a remembrance in the style of the Vietnam War Memorial in D.C. and soon after led the painting of the Rest in Peace Memorial Wall at 1924 Hunting Park Avenue. He painted 406 names, Philadelphians murdered in 2006. According to Ta'Bon some had been his friends. He was harnessing the injuries of his community, of his own life, and finding purpose. Organized by months of work, the names form eight columns spanning the sidewall of a two-story rowhome. On a clear day, the sky matches the mural’s underlying field of blue. Ta’Bon completed the wall in March 2007. However, Ta'Bon's mission to was not done by 2010, Ta'Bon had founded the "Fight Hate With Love" initiative and built the "Un-Prison Cell". It’s “the only prison in America designed to keep you out,” quoting Michael "G-LAW" Ta'Bon; G-LAW, or OG-LAW (God’s Love Always Wins/God’s Love AT Work). For the month of February, G-LAW lived in a self-built cell-sized space on the streets of Philly. Protesting prison construction, poverty, inequality and hate. He has jogged 10 miles a day for seven days around Philadelphia with a 40-foot banner reading FIGHT HATE WITH LOVE; he has walked with a ball-and-chain from Selma to Montgomery. In fact, he has demonstrated the "Death Fast" multiple times spending the month of February on the Philly streets in his own prison cell. You can see coverage of the the first occasion in 2011 here and here. One year, he even mounted the event in Atlanta, GA.

By 2014 Michael "G Law" Ta'Bon began works on a biographical film "Fight Hate With Love" in collaboration with MediaStorm. The film was released in December of 2017, Directed by Andrew Michael Ellis field Production done by Lindsay Branham with editor & producer; Tim McLaughlin. By this time Ta'Bon had been in the media several times and in 2018 was featured once again in "Philly Voice" for rallying support for the Birds in a unique way that, he hoped, would also help youths avoid the same lifestyle that landed him behind prison walls for nearly a decade. In 2017 Ta'Bon also appeared in the critically acclaimed, award winning short film "The Cage" which led to a featured role as "Jalen" in "Concrete Cowboys" starring Idris Elba. The 2021 film "Concrete Cowboy" went on to be a #1 film for two weeks on Netflix movie streaming service and remained in the top 10 for just over a month, Ta'Bon currently resides in Philadelphia where he continues to draw, act and is heavily involved in social justice activism.

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