Tuesday, February 28

Writing My Wrongs: Book Review


Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor

This memoir felt very important for me to read. I haven't picked up a book that addresses a topic like this book did; after all, the subtitle was "Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison." I mean, WOW.

This book follows Shaka's childhood in a middle class neighborhood of Detroit during the height of the 80's crack epidemic. He was an honor roll student and a natural leader before his parents' marriage started dissolving at the age of eleven, and the abuse from his mother worsened which sent him on a downward spiral, leading him to run away from home, turn to dealing drugs to survive and then end up in prison for murder when he was nineteen. In that small period of his life, when your world is already infused with all the insecurities of being a teenager, I simply cannot imagine the pressure and uncertainty that Shaka experienced. It quite literally broke my heart that children go through this type of thing every day.

In prison, Shaka discovered literature, mediation, self-examination and the kindness of others and used these to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him and being atoning for the wrongs he committed. When he was released after nineteen years of being incarcerated, at the age of thirty-eight, the memoir described how he became an activist and mentor to young people facing similar circumstances.

This book tackles poverty and violence in an incredibly real way. He doesn't shy away from the hard things he lived through and dealt with, even as he struggled with redemption and the fact that our worst deeds do not define us. The way this memoir opened my mind to life outside of white suburbia was outstanding, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciated it.


Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Also, affiliate links used. This means that if you purchase a book via the Amazon links, I'll receive a small percentage. Thank you for supporting my blog!

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