Shaka Senghor: Writing My Wrongs



S it do to return angry demoralized people to society Not much as far as I can tell and neither can Shaka Senghor who has made it his mission in life to help children find a way to express their anger frustration and disappointment without succumbing to violence So read this book for the story itself and for a reality check Full post at 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 ne learns to love and forgive after committing murderFive 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 The Royal Joust of his transgression and her hope that he found peaceTonight I had thepportunity to ask where he thought he d be if he hadn t received that letter Pausing to think about the uestion his initial reply was a simple I honestly don t know Pausing again he continued by adding that it was this letter that gave him the space and the closure he needed to begin forgiving himself for taking a life The letter softened his heart which had been hardened from years American Maharajah on the street compounded by years behindSenghor served almost two decades in prison after being sentenced at 19 yearsld and spent seven f those in solitary confinement Writing My Wrongs is not an necessarily indictment f his sentence he admits having committed the crime and takes responsibility for his actions Instead Senghor uses his story to illustrate the linkages between his youth and his adulthood Readers are taken through his disappointment with his n again ff again parents his fear as a 14 year Squeamish About Sushi: And other Food Adventures in Japan old entrenched in drug dealing and his shame at his 11 yearld son finally finding ut why he was incarceratedDisappointment fear and shame were dominant feelings in his youth but Senghor develops passion as an adult Senghor passion to do right by his sons and his fellow inmates Listening to Senghor speak tonight all that remained was an verwhelming sense The Quarterback's Crush of purpose He spoke elouently about his positionn prison related policies such as President Obama s effort to reduce youths in solitary confinement But he also got into the nitty gritty Into subjects those who haven t spent excessive time in prison wouldn t know to discuss Recounting his last few days f imprisonment Senghor recalls that nly began to really receive help preparation for his release 60 days prior Nineteen years in jail and they give you 60 days to get your life together he said before detailing how things like this play into high American recidivism ratesLiteracy not prison saved Senghor Long days and nights in prison repeatedly bested him further and further away from the moral code he d hoped to live by If nothing else Writing My Wrongs shows that prison life brings ut the best in nobody Reading books such as the Autobiography f Malcolm X and even religious texts such as the Bible were what grounded him Writing was eually as powerful allowing him to connect the dots between his past adolescent anger and his current adult fury When he finally got ut f prison writing is how he decided he would make a differenceI gave this book a 4 ut f 5 Those with an interest in mass incarceration issues and General P.T.G. Beauregard other issues associated with poverty and drugs should put this at the topf your list It s mandatory However it s worth stressing that it s appeal is wider than those with a niche interest such as myself Universal themes such as justice forgiveness and failure not in that My Wishful Thinking order make this a book fit for any shelfAnd hell if Oprah is reading it you should probably at least give the dust cover a skim right That said checkut his interview with Oprah this Sunday The Boy and the Blue Moon on Super Soul Sunday 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 expos riddled with confessions that enlighten the audience and gives a human face to the incarcerated What I was expecting was another bookf distorted and dehumanizing criminology basking in some super imposed and caustically tainted surreal world The thing is I got that and much much than I imagined I got an understandingThe book is straight forward no smoke and mirrors ptical illusions r sleight The Screwball Comedy Films: A History and Filmography, 1934-1942 of hand There is no need for advanced degreesr unabridged dictionaries Needed is an Father Tom Padilla: Mark of the Demon Priest open mind and the desire to delve into the place that is misunderstood Senghor writes from the heart from a place that he didn t know existed and becausef that discovery the sincerity pours from every pageSenghor writesI STARED AT THE BATTLE SCARRED IMAGE IN FRONT OF ME AND KNEW I NEEDED TO BEGIN THE LONG TEDIOUS PROCESS OF MAKING PEACE WITH MY PAST I OPENED UP DEEP WOUNDS THAT HAD BEEN STUFFED WITH THE GAUZE OF ANGER AND SELF HATRED I FORGAVE. L that saw him run away from home turn to drug dealing to survive and end up in prison for murder at the age f 19 fuming with anger and despair       Writing My Wrongs is the story f what came next During his nineteen year incarceration seven f which were spent in solitary confinement Senghor discovered literature meditation self examination and the kindness f Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day others tools he used to confront the demonsf 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.

Reading this while finishing the last season f The Wire made me appreciate just how entrenched in realism the show is But this isn t a review f The Wire which you should definitely watch it s a review Pantyhose Professionals (Pantyhose Diaries Book 2) of Shaka Senghor s memoir Writing My Wrongs Life Death and Redemption in an American Prison It actually takes place in a numberf American prisons which was an eye pener to me because I didn t realise the regularity with which prisoners are transferred I first came across Shaka Senghor through a podcast episode Conversations with Tyler Episode 80 and was keen to read his memoir which was both shocking and fascinating Having read his memoir I m keen to read his ther books particularly his novels While I admire the way this troubled youth found his way back to a normal society I wasn t thrilled with the writing Life Death and Redemption in an American PrisonThat subtitle rings true throughout the entire bookJames White Pumpkin Jay Only 19 years Masterchef Junior Cookbook: Bold Recipes and Essential Techniques to Inspire Young Cooks old and his life is about to changeHe knew he was going to prison the night he shot to kill He knew his life was virtuallyver when he had just made a new Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman 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 barsHe had been dealing crack and running around the hood since he was 14 He was shot at 17 He killed at 19 He never wanted this life but what else could he do with a mommy that didn t want him and a daddy that was never around Prison took its tolln Jay But he eventually found himself importantly he finally found the strength to forgive himself and apologize for what he had done He needed closure but that closure didn t find him until almost 10 years into his sentence He was willing to change and for that I applaud him He didn t deserve this life his family didn t deserve it his victim didn t deserve it This memoir is told through alternating past and present We see James become Jay We see who Jay is in prison We see the two personalities slowing merging into Study of Organ Inferiority and Its Psychical Compensation; A Contribution to Clinical Medicine - Scholar's Choice Edition one We see why he felt a certain way and why he reacted the way he did He was partf a Brotherhood he felt the need to uphold He wanted to mend the broken and feed the poor He wanted everyone to be accepted within the laws Heaven Next Stop of the jungle That is how he found himselfThrough his brothersThrough his fatherThrough Lil JayThrough EbonyFor that he will always be thankfulBig shoutut to Blogging for Books for sending me a copy f Writing My Wrongs Life Death and Redemption in an American PrisonThis review and can be found at A Reader s Diary My students and I have been reading this really important book this semester hot ff the shelf It never fails as with all f Shaka s books it is the ne reading they ALL get into Afterwards they are able to put all the pieces together Bases Loaded 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 Senghorn this life changing work It is the blueprint Have A Good Night, Volume 1 on how we might read and WRITEurselves into a new way f being humanMuch love in struggleKaren Gagne incredibly readable and engaging Senghor details the circumstances f his life that led to his shooting and killing a man and what it took to redeem himself by both his wn 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 I read this book concurrently with Just Mercy and it ccurred to me partway through that while I d read books like that ne that dealt with the prison industrial complex bias and wrongful convictions and I d read books about people held captive for ther 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 ne thing to hear the worst case scenarios about prison life from an author trying to shock you into fomenting for change and another to hear about the day after day experience f someone who spent 19 years behind bars It was enlightening in a way no Isabel the Queen: Life and Times other book I d read about prisons had beenForne thing I was surprised at how Fantastic Post Office 03 often Senghor was transferred to a different facility sometimes because his securit 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 standut from any Tim Crouch other redemption storyut there Redemption stories are by their very nature predictably full f 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 f their humanity The constant upheaval the threat Drawing the Human Head of violence from all corners the social isolation allf this serves to set inmates up to fail Should someone be punished for committing a crime Yes Should someone be made to feel that there s no hope for change No What good doe. In 1991 Shaka Senghor was sent to prison for second degree murder Today he is a lecturer at universities a leading voice n criminal justice reform and an inspiration to thousandsIn life it's not how you start that matters It's how you finish      Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle class neighborhood n Detroit’s east side during the height DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle of the 1980s crack epidemic An honor roll student and a natural leader he dreamedf becoming a doctor but at age 11 his parents' marriage began to unravel and the beatings from his mother worsened sending him n a downward spira.

ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAD TEASED ME IN MY CHILDHOOD MAKING FUN OF MY JACK O LANTERN SIZED HEAD BY CALLING ME PUMPKIN I FORGAVE EVERYONE WHO HAD MADE FUN OF MY GAP TOOTHED SMILE I RAN MY HAND THROUGH MY LONG DREADLOCKS AND FORGAVE EVERYONE WHO EVER CALLED ME NAPPY HEADED MAKING ME FEEL INSECURE ABOUT THE CROWN MY CREATOR HAD BESTOWED UPON ME THE WORDS FROM MY PAST RICOCHETED AROUND IN MY MIND LIKE ERRANT BULLETS HURTING NO LESS NOW THAN THEY HAD BACK THEN Senghor s tale is a familiar ne familiar perhaps if you re a part f the PoC planet Familiar even if you have never lived n that planet It is inherent spiritual transcending caste gender and Dead Man Riding (Nell Bray, often race We just understand it better than most His introduction reveals that there s a depth to the mentalityf the convicted a depth he knew long before the was behind barsI OPENED UP DEEP WOUNDS THAT HAD BEEN STUFFED WITH THE GAUZE OF ANGER AND SELF HATREDHe was the victim since birth f suspicion profiling and humanity viewed as sub human and uestioned so vehemently that he eventually uestioned himself The beauty is that Senghor did not sweeten the story he told it from the guts and grime f his grim reality He gave the reader while walking them through chambers f secrets the gore and the glorified details but accepted responsibility for his actions holding himself accountable while seeking something greater than himself And because he was so viewed he pted to fulfill the illusionShaka Senghor explains where and how his psychological Pontius Pilate odyssey beganf how his mother kicked him ut f their home how he solicited money from strangers to eat and laid his head wherever his head was allowed to lay He besieged us with a profile Aeralis of how desperate measures and the need to be a partf some greater ensemble leads to unimaginable Be CentsAble: How to Cut Your Household Budget in Half outcomes The reader is made cognizantf matters that draw the path to desperation Was he always desperate I cannot say that he was nor can it be accurately surmised if the lifestyle he chose was fulfilling some greater void Perhaps the transformation from pauper to low level prince provided him a false sense Academic Inbreeding and Mobility in Higher Education: Global Perspectives of prosperity and worthiness But he eually tellsf the functionality and normality Radio Crackling, Radio Gone of his childhood home He states that the arguments between his mother and father were perhaps no different than those in anyther household until his parent decided to separateWHEN HE FINALLY EXPLAINED THAT HE WOULD BE MOVING TO A PLACE IN HIGHLAND PARK THAT COMING WEEKEND ALL KINDS OF THOUGHTS BEGAN FLOWING THROUGH MY YOUNG MIND THOUGHTS ABOUT MY FATHER AND ALL THAT HE MEANT TO OUR HOUSEHOLD I THOUGHT ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS AND HOW HE WOULD ORGANIZE US KIDS TO PUT UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW HE WOULD GIVE US AN ALLOWANCE EVERY OTHER SATURDAY SO THAT WE COULD GO SKATING AT ROYAL SKATELAND I THOUGHT ABOUT THE SOUND OF HIM PULLING INTO THE DRIVEWAY EACH NIGHT AT APPROXIMATELY 1145 PM WHEN HE GOT OFF WORKI WAS SCARED IT WAS AS THOUGH EVERYTHING THAT SYMBOLIZED FAMILY AND STABILITY HAD BEEN SUCKED OUT OF THE ROOMFear was a lingering theme an irrefutable manta Senghor was afraid even when he showed no fear murder solitary confinement and parole review boards He was afraid The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta: California's Gold Rush Bandit of being a better student a better son a better father and a better man Issues that festered in his community settled in his head and left him figuratively sitting shoelessn the curb with Limey Gumshoe officers standing at the ready my words He wanted what everyone else wanted yet circumstancesf his Maritime Academy Graduate: Memoir Of A Third Mate own creation disallowed him thepportunityIt was the murder he committed that seemed to be his free fall spiral f change As a convicted murderer the confinement was real The long prison sentence would have nly two Trouble Looking for a Place to Happen outcomes Constructiver Destructive He initially took the common road but the practice was not worth the punishment So he changed course he discovered books discovered words rediscovered himself and began to write Fear redirected his path strongly dictated his destiny allowed him to succeed in prison made him invisible and ultimately made him a writer Fear saved his lifeShaka Senghor made many people those who have read his book and those who have listened to his lectures realize that there exists a human being beneath the Dressed for Thrills: 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade orange yellow green grayr black and white striped jumpsuits He needed to forgive and be forgiven to love and be deeply loved in return Indeed hardened men abound behind bars but emotions are Harcourt School Publishers Collections often powerful than circumstance When all seemed lost he found forgiveness and a rider die love Emotions carried him throughRead Writing the Wrongs Get entangled in its complex web and enlighten yourself with what might From Paella to Porridge: A Farewell to Mallorca and a Scottish Adventure otherwise be dark It is a redemption song a symphonyf hope and even if it doesn t perfectly fit in your idea On Toby's Terms of good literature worth excavating for its many hidden treasures This is an incredible book that everyne should read nce in their lives This is what Writing My Wrongs made me feel1 CONTRIBUTION I thought I was contributing and helping enoug. 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 FestivalIn eual turns Writing My Wrongs is a page turning portrait f life in the shadow f poverty violence and fear; an unforgettable story f redemption reminding us that ur worst deeds don’t define us; and a compelling witness to ur country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime prison and the men and women sent the.

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