Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

Shaka Senghor


Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

  • Title: Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison
  • Author: Shaka Senghor
  • ISBN: 9781101907306
  • Page: 366
  • Format: ebook



In 1991, Shaka Senghor was sent to prison for second degree murder Today, he is a lecturer at universities, a leading voice on criminal justice reform, and an inspiration to thousands.In life, it s not how you start that matters It s how you finish Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle class neighborhood on Detroit s east side during the height of the 1980s crack epIn 1991, Shaka Senghor was sent to prison for second degree murder Today, he is a lecturer at universities, a leading voice on criminal justice reform, and an inspiration to thousands.In life, it s not how you start that matters It s how you finish 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.From the Hardcover edition.


Recent Comments "Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison"

This is an incredible book that every one should read once in their lives. This is what Writing My Wrongs made me feel:1. CONTRIBUTION: I thought I was contributing and helping enough till I read your book Shaka, there is so much more I can do and this pushed me to find non profit that helps women to teach them what I teach (I am a coach for women, I teach women how to boost self-esteem and be happy).2. JUDGEMENT: I do have a confession to make. Before I met you part of me would still judge othe [...]

Title: Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American PrisonPublished: March 8, 2016Author: Shaka Senghor288 PagesThe Review: Writing My WrongsShaka Senghor's memoir, Writing My Wrongs, exemplifies an emotional exposé, riddled with confessions that enlighten the audience and gives a human face to the incarcerated. What I was expecting was another book of distorted and dehumanizing criminology, basking in some super-imposed and caustically tainted surreal world. The thing is, I go [...]

Full post at brownbooksandgreentea/2016Short Form Review: Author Shaka Senghor provides an insightful look into prison life, contextualizing it with personal anecdotes from his youth. Purposeful and inspirational, readers learn exactly how one learns to love and forgive after committing murder.Five years into his sentence for a murder resulting from a drug interaction gone awry, author Shaka Senghor received a letter. Sent from the victim’s godmother, the letter expressed both her forgiveness [...]

I vacillated between 4 and 5 stars but ultimately, this book is a solid 4 because while it is a compelling, engaging read, it doesn't radically stand out from any other redemption story out there. Redemption stories are, by their very nature, predictably full of plot lines that crest, dip then crest again. However, this is the first time that I've really understood how the prison system is designed to rob people of their humanity. The constant upheaval, the threat of violence from all corners, t [...]

incredibly readable and engaging. Senghor details the circumstances of his life that led to his shooting and killing a man, and what it took to redeem himself by both his own standards and society's standards. A hard look at what prison life is like and how difficult it is to emerge with your sanity and dignity intact. I'm so glad I read this.

Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison.That subtitle rings true throughout the entire book.James White, Pumpkin, Jay. Only 19 years old and his life is about to change.He knew he was going to prison the night he shot to kill. He knew his life was virtually over when he had just made a new one. He knew Brenda was going to raise their baby alone while he sat in a prison cell. His lawyer promised 10 years, but he was sentenced to 40 years behind bars.He had been dealing crack and running [...]

My students and I have been reading this really important book this semester, hot off the shelf. It never fails, as with all of Shaka's books, it is the one reading they ALL get into! Afterwards, they are able to put all the pieces together of the things I have had them read and watch and think about in the course. A must-read for sociologists, criminal justice majors, teachers, and all parents! Congratulations, Shaka Senghor on this life-changing work. It is the blueprint on how we might read a [...]

Even an angry convicted murderer serving 19 years in prison (7 of those in solitary confinement) can turn his life around and become a positive influence and an asset to society. We need to stop judging and start loving more. A truly inspirational book about hope and redemption.If you don't want to read the book, at least watch his interview with Oprah:oprah/own-super-soul-s

I read this book concurrently with Just Mercy, and it occurred to me partway through that while I'd read books like that one that dealt with the prison-industrial complex, bias, and wrongful convictions, and I'd read books about people held captive for other reasons, I hadn't (that I could remember) read a memoir by a person who served a prison sentence for a crime he fully admits to committing. It's one thing to hear the worst-case scenarios about prison life from an author trying to shock you [...]

Yet another great read by Shaka Senghor, only this book is his memoir, his true life story. He gives a very vivid and detailed description of his life in the streets of Detroit and the time he spent in prison. This is a story of a lost soul filled with, family issues, anger and a need to belong which he found in the streets of Detroit. After landing himself in prison for murder he had time to re-think his wrongs, which took a while but he slowly turned his life into something meaningful and posi [...]

Turn Your Mess Into a Message“The ultimate betrayal, however, and the hardest thing for me to deal with, was my own betrayal. I had turned my back on myself the first time I picked up drugs, alcohol and guns. I had given up on myself. In fact, I had never even given myself a chance to succeed.”In the wee hours of the morning an action and reaction in the span of a few seconds changed lives forever. A man was dead and nineteen-year-old Shaka was responsible.“Writing My Wrongs: A Memoir” b [...]

Excellent memoir of a man's fight from the streets through the broken prison system to redemption of his soul. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the personal impact of the racially polarised US.

Wise, well crafted, and brimming with tremendous strength and talent. The redemptive journey from streets to prison to transformed man is of course a classic tale -- but Shaka Senghor's version is all at once artfully gripping, socially relevant, and deeply human. He makes us see and feel the world through his eyes: first as a hopeful and eager-to-please child; then as a lost and jaded youth, drifting through numerous forms of heartbreak and vicious self-sabotage, both on the streets and behind [...]

A great memoir of how one can make such terrible decisions and not realize it until it's too latefast forward to now the author is making great contributions to his community and is a testament to how even the most hardened criminals can be rehabilitated.

While I admire the way this troubled youth found his way back to a "normal" society, I wasn't thrilled with the writing.

Powerful story.My wife saw him talk at the Ohio Library Council Conference & Expo as the closing Keynote speaker in 2016. She enjoyed his talk and thought this book would be right up my alley. Shaka goes back and forth between his early upbringing in Detroit and his stint in the Michigan prison system. I can't possibly understand or imagine what I would have done if I were in his shoes.I listened to the the audiobook, read by the author. Shaka's story of pain, reflection, and redemption is h [...]

Absolutely a must read. An eye opening, emotional, heartbreaking and inspiring journey. Realizing my own potential - and passion - to change the world around me. “That’s why I’m asking you to envision a world where men and women aren’t held hostage to their pasts, where misdeeds and mistakes don’t define you for the rest of your life. In an era of record incarcerations and a culture of violence, we can learn to love those who no longer love themselves. Together, we can begin to make th [...]

This book is both inspirational and transformative. Shaka's story supports the saying "when you know better, you do better." And it helped me to understand that people need to be told of their potential, it is not something you are born knowing, but once a person realizes what they're capable of, anything truly is possible. And, once more, his story reiterated to me that books save lives. Time and time again, the written word continues to save lives.

Excellent book. Honest, raw and compelling. I read it in 4 hours because it flowed as a single narrative story and closed the book reluctantly. I work with at-risk youth in Canada and I saw their thoughts and mindset reflected in Shaka Senghor's words. Highly recommend.

An incredible book where the trauma of a child sets the course of a man, and brings him back. Great read!

Everyone should read this book

The best thing about this book is how you know that Shaka does make a better life for himself and his family despite the obstacles placed in his way by circumstance and his own doing. Just the day before reading this book I read in the news that the Trump Administration will begin removing restrictions on privitizing prisons (which President Obama put in place) and so while reading this it only made me angrier. Rehabilitation is possible. There is proof out there, others like Shaka who turned th [...]

Part memoir, part confession, but all honesty. Shaka is a man to admire and I hope to hear him speak as part of the Silicon Valley Reads event roster. I wish every young person flirting with criminal behavior could read this book and save themselves a lot of heartache.

[No star rating because that just seems wrong.] David Foster Wallace wrote an essay about how sports memoirs have so much promise--people flock to them because they're meant to uncover the psyches of those who have achieved athletic domination. What makes them win? What motivates them to be the best? And then you actually get something like "I had just won Wimbledon. And it was thrilling." There is a little of that with this book for me. The memoir is supposed to detail how Shaka went from a 19- [...]

Shaka offers a raw account of growing up in Detroit in the 1980s and early 90s, in and out of school, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, family member to family member, dealing crack off and on but mostly on, and turning into an angry and scared young man that kills another man and loses his own life in the process, ending up in jail. It's a story about urban and street culture, the experience of the African-American male; it's a story that people like me mostly hear through statistics or [...]

Just read this book, you will not be disappointed

Easily read this book in a day. Shaka's story of growing up during Detroit's cocaine epidemic, murdering a man in a drug deal gone wrong, spending years in prison, and coming out a better person is just riveting. If you have ever questioned the ability of people to learn, reflect, and grow, check out Mr. Senghor, he is the real deal. His memoir feels very honest--he admits to wrongdoings while he was imprisoned during his early years, and how he grew to move past that and become a role model for [...]

Highly recommended, especially to those (like me) who have a hard time empathizing with criminals. The author killed a person during a drug deal and spent 19 years in prison. My emotions were all over the map reading this book. He's a really good story teller and I found the book gripping. His upbringing and the environment he found himself in is so utterly different from my own experience. It was enlightening to hear a story from inside, rather than just hear more statistics about crime in Detr [...]

(3.5 stars, audiobook) honest writing and a good read overall.Writing My Wrongs is a very humanizing, personal look into a Shaka's rough childhood in Detroit that led to him getting in trouble on the streets starting at 14 and then going to jail at 19 for murder. the story/writing didn't feel totally new or ground-breaking, just very straightforward and matter-of-fact, but I would definitely recommend it as a good look into another life with a hopeful perspective for change. it sheds light on im [...]

This book was a recommendation from my a coworker's blog, & I tore through it in two sittings (or should-be-sleepings). Senghor, who became a crack dealer at age 14, committed murder at age 19 just months after being shot himself (& likely suffering from some serious PTSD). He spent nearly two decades in prison, at first violent, angry, & withdrawn but later relying on faith & writing to help him find the strength to evolve into a peace-loving, justice-minded activist, husband, & [...]


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    Published :2018-08-27T20:58:44+00:00