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Sunday, October 15, 2023


I recently read Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison, by Shaka Senghor (2017). 

In this book, SS takes us through his life journey from a middle-class neighborhood in Detroit to the downward spiral he experienced as a crack dealer and his subsequent imprisonment in the Michigan correctional system.


My top takeaways:

·       I hear often hear urban settings referenced as “food deserts.” It seems to me they may also be “hope deserts.”

·       The need to survive drives ALL of us. Some have a very short menu of options to achieve that end.

·       Anger and despair are two of the most powerful motivators known to humankind.

·       Seven years in solitary confinement: I cannot imagine.

·       The ability to read and access to literature are exit tickets for many (or any) who are trapped in desperate situations.

·       Redemption is like an open door, there for anyone. The choice to enter (or not) is ours alone.

·       Love, exhibited through kindness, has power we cannot imagine.


My favorite quote:


“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.” (p. 263)


I cannot remember how/why this book came onto my radar screen. It will forever live in my memory.


As nation, we can do better. As a person, I must do better.

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