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.