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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.

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

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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.

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B-More Careful by Shannon Holmes

Print Length: 292 pages
Page Numbers Source
ISBN: 1592323146
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

From the streets of Baltimore, Maryland hail an all girl clique called the Pussy Pound. At the head of the clique is Netta, at her side is her close friend, Mimi. Both women are armed with a do anything-for-the-money attitude. Quickly it becomes clear that Netta will go above and beyond the call of duty in her quest for the almighty dollar. Under her tutelage the Pussy Pound becomes infamous on the streets of Baltimore as they attract and target some of the most prominent dope boys in the city. With each hustler that they bed the Pussy Pound becomes more deeply entangled in the game.

As the consequences of their acts catch up to them. They soon discover that the streets of Baltimore are an unforgiving place and there is a heavy price to pay for their treachery.

Review

B-More Careful was a raw and gritty account of what takes place in the life of the streets. The premise of the story was based on betrayal, deception and treachery.

I would have rated this book five stars had it not been for the excessive typos and grammatical errors I came across. Nevertheless, Shannon Holmes is an exceptional and talented writer.

B-More Careful was fast paced. I was able to visualize and feel everything as if I was there.

I admit, I had a difficult time getting through this story. The characters and content felt so real to me. In reading this story, which took place in Baltimore, I came to understand the realities of the streets. The game is certainly not a lifestyle I would want to be a part of, because of all the danger, backstabbing, jealousy, envy, betrayal, greed and revenge which is paramount.

B-More Careful emphasized the life of drugs, money, sex and murder. There is nothing glamorous or attractive about it based on what I read. This story made me sad.

Shannon Holmes did not sugar coat anything. He gave it to you straight and to the point. The characters who stood out for me were Black, Netta and Mimi. Black and Netta being the most ruthless of them all.

Unfortunately, there was no happy Hollywood ending either. All in all, B-More Careful taught me a great deal and opened my eyes to the harsh realities of a world I knew very little about.

Shannon Holmes wrote his first novel, B-More Careful, while in prison. When it was published, it immediately became a #1 bestseller, making him a major name in a new generation of fiction: hip-hop fiction. He then launched Triple Crown Publications, one of the leading publishers of hip-hop fiction, with Vickie Stringer, and wrote more novels, including the #1Essence bestsellers Bad Girlz, Never Go Home Again, Dirty Game and Caught Up.

 

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