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Publisher's Summary

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 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 19-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 38, Senghor became an activist and a 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 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.
©2016 Shaka Senghor (P)2016 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Max on 03-15-16

My Inspiration

I congratulate Shaka on his courage and life transformation . I learned of him when he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network. His story moved me. I, too am a convicted felon. I am a white 46 yr. old woman , with unloving childhood, who made poor choices in my life. My crime was less severe as his, but I too have felt the struggle of overcoming labels and judgment since my conviction in 2009. I did not serve time, but my life was forever changed. I had a hopeful future. Lots of potential and gifts, but never believed in myself. I bought your book on audio. I work in a machine shop. I struggled to get this job because of rumors and judgement in a very small town. I've been here for 3.5 years. Have proven myself worthy, at least as a hard worker, still not as a good woman or decent human being. I understand slamming doors in your face, but I will continue to forward. He is an inspiration to people like me out here. MyShawna Herr

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 03-18-16

Shaka's true story restored my faith in humanity.

Shaka's straight forward descriptions of life inside prison exposes the truth behind bars and sheds light on what we can do to save ourselves from our broken criminal justice system. He pulls the curtain back and takes us into the belly of the beast that is eating away at American culture.

Shaka's resilience, wisdom and strength shines through in a system dedicated to humiliation and punishment over redemption and restoration. His journey teaches us about hope and the promise of a better future.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Darren Jackson on 01-21-17

Very inspirational, up there with the greats.


This a must read/listen to book. From the beginning I was hooked. Shaka's writing is amazing, honest, emotional and gripping. It's apparent that at a very young age 'J' was a young male who was very self aware and recognised his struggles with his mother, his parent's separation, the situation he found himself in living on the streets and crime and fundamentally himself.

Shaka maintained his mental strength and focused on the positives in his life and what he hoped he had to look forward to.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 07-13-16

Raw and insightful

Written with honesty with a feeling of true regret. Really pushes the issue on rehabilitation and the prison system in general. Could I forgive and support 2nd chances if my child was murdered? I can only hope I never find out.

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