Tag Archives: crime

Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Convergent Books
Price: $14.00
Purchase: Amazon | BN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle class neighborhood on Detroit’s east side during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic. An honor roll student and a natural leader, he dreamed of becoming a doctor—but at age 11, his parents’ marriage began to unravel, and the beatings from his mother worsened, sending him on a downward spiral that saw him run away from home, turn to drug dealing to survive, and end up in prison for murder at the age of 19, fuming with anger and despair.
Writing My Wrongs is the story of what came next. During his nineteen-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, Senghor discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed. Upon his release at age thirty-eight, Senghor became an activist and mentor to young men and women facing circumstances like his. His work in the community and the courage to share his story led him to fellowships at the MIT Media Lab and the Kellogg Foundation and invitations to speak at events like TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

In equal turns, Writing My Wrongs is a page-turning portrait of life in the shadow of poverty, violence, and fear; an unforgettable story of redemption, reminding us that our worst deeds don’t define us; and a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Vlog Review: https://youtu.be/ER3t-xnHgE4

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Review

Writing My Wrongs is about the power of hope, change, and redemption. It sheds light on the reality and truth of mass incarceration.

I have read many books about prison, but never as poignant, gritty, and honest as this one. This memoir provoked me in ways I had not expected.

Shaka Senghor is an inspiration and a great writer. He was born with a gift which he was able to develop during his time in solitary confinement. It was through reading and writing that he was able to heal and find himself.

His story taught me that people deserve a second chance, and should not be limited or defined by their past.

Writing My Wrongs is an important and powerful book, which touched, inspired and encouraged me. I hope it gets into the hands of the youth in public schools, detention centers, and prisons across America. I highly recommend it.

In conclusion, I want to thank Convergent for sending me this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.

Locked up for nearly nineteen years, Shaka Senghor has used his incarceration as a vehicle for change. Through years of study and self-reflection, he has transformed himself from an uncaring “thug” into a principled, progressive man who refuses to allow his circumstances to define who he is or what he’s capable of.

Once a very angry, bitter young man, it was books that saved him from self-destructing and allowed him to see beyond the barbed-wire fences that held him captive. In an environment where hopelessness and despair grow like weeds, writing became his refuge. Eventually, he began writing creatively, tapping into the growing interest in street/hip hop literature. The author of six books and countless articles and short stories, he is inspired by revolutionary prison writers like George Jackson, Malcolm X and Donald Goines.

Whether writing street lit or poetry, Shaka speaks the truth about the oppressive conditions of the ‘hood and the not-so-glamorous side of the streets. He writes in a way that compels his readers to see the hope and humanity of a discarded generation shaped by the crack epidemic, the fall of the auto industry and the rise of the prison industrial complex. He is soon to be released and is eager to begin working with youth through gun and violence prevention programs in his hometown of Detroit.

Posted in book reviews, writing | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

One Thing I Don’t Regret

Yesterday I came across a story that crushed my spirit. I couldn’t sleep. All I could do is think about this precious boy in China.

AFP

For the life of me, I can’t understand how anyone, much less a woman, could gauge out the eyes of an innocent child.

His uncle says he asks why the sky is always dark … and why the dawn still hasn’t come.  Heartbreaking.

How does one explain to a six year old he is blind for life by the hand of a cruel stranger?  How is he suppose to understand this? I feel heartbroken for him, his parents and family. No child should have to go through something like this.
******

At three-thirty in the morning, I cried out to God, asking Him why? Why this little boy? Why any child for that matter?

Silence.

I fell back to sleep eventually and had a dream. I saw Jeremiah 29:11.

Every now and then, God speaks to me through dreams. I count it a blessing when He does.

He is kind and thoughtful, unlike this cold, callous and cruel world that hurt this boy.

Yes, God made the world beautiful, much like the Garden of Eden, until evil destroyed it.

God reminded me in Jeremiah 29:11, that He is with me, even when my heart feels like it will explode from the pain.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What a hope. What a promise! One I will grip on to tightly in the days ahead.

*****

When I look over my life, I have a lot of regrets. But the one thing I don’t regret is giving my life to Jesus Christ.

If there is one thing I did right in my life, it was that.

Since giving Him my life, there were plenty of times He could have turned His back on me, but He didn’t.

He loves me unconditionally, something I have a hard time grasping, because I think I need to earn everything.

But grace can’t be earned. He gives it freely.

Which is why I can’t wait for the day I meet Him face to face.

I need to stick around for my boys sake to make sure they are standing on their own two feet. But I can’t wait to experience His uninterrupted love 24/7. Where there will be no evil, tears, pain, hurt, sickness, tragedy or death.

I’m grateful I am a child of God. When things look bleak and I grow weary, I am glad I have His hand to hold.

He is my only hope in this world. I can’t fathom living life without Him.

I remember when I didn’t know Him. What a dark and hopeless place that was. I never want to live like that again.

I wish the woman that gauged the boy’s eyes out knew Him. If she knew Him, she wouldn’t have committed this heinous crime. If she knew His deep and abiding love, she wouldn’t have been consumed with evil to harm him.

My heart is heavy today and I am weary. My prayer is that the darkness which is consuming hearts will be replaced by Jesus’ love and light.

Is Jesus your only hope?

Posted in blogging, christianity, faith, forgiveness, Healing, prayer | Also tagged , , 3 Comments