We are pleased to annouce the appearance of the New York Times bestselling author Shaka Senghor, who will appear at the Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen in Southfield, on Thursday, February 15th at 6:30 PM. Shaka Senghhor is a Detroit native and author of the bestselling memoir: Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison. The Book Beat is cosponsoring the event and will have books available.
In 1991, Shaka Senghor was sent to prison for second-degree murder. Today, he lectures at many universities, is a leading voice on criminal justice reform, and an inspiration to thousands.
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 a redemption story told through a stunningly human portrait of what it’s like to grow up in the gravitational pull of poverty, violence, fear, and hopelessness. It’s an unforgettable tale of forgiveness and hope, one that reminds us that our worst deeds don’t define who we are or what we can contribute to the world. And it’s a lasting testament to the power of compassion, prayer, and unconditional love, for reaching those whom society has forgotten.
PRAISE FOR ‘WRITING MY WRONGS
“Shaka Senghor is a once-in-a-generation leader, championing a cause that will define a generation: mass incarceration. Behind prison walls, Writing My Wrongs is already taking its place alongside the memoirs of Malcolm X and George Jackson as must-read literature. In the broader society, its publication will propel him into the ranks of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander—powerful visionaries whose words are shaking the foundations of our nation’s understanding of itself.”
-Van Jones, CNN Contributor, bestselling author of The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream
“Writing My Wrongs is an extraordinary, unforgettable book. It’s a necessary reminder of the deep humanity, vulnerability and potential that lies within each one of us, including those we view as ‘thugs’ or ‘criminals’. Shaka’s story illustrates that if we muster the courage to love those who do not yet love themselves, a new world is possible.”
-Michelle Alexander, professor of law, Ohio State University, bestselling author of The New Jim Crow
“If you’ve wondered what makes it possible for good people to do terrible things, and what a man can endure to reach redemption, then you must read this book. Shaka Senghor’s story is told with brutal self-assessment and tender attention to what makes profound change – in a person, in our communities – not only possible but imperative. In this unforgettable memoir Shaka takes us from the streets of Detroit into solitary confinement in prison, and against all odds, home safely and successfully to a family and community that needs him.”
-Piper Kerman, bestselling author of Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison
Shaka Senghor is a leading voice in criminal justice reform and a Senior Fellow with the Dream Corps. His memoir, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, was released in March 2016 and debuted on The New York Times Best Seller List as well as The Washington Post Best Seller List. An unforgettable tale of forgiveness and second chances, Writing My Wrongs reminds us that our worst deeds don’t define who we are or what we can contribute to the world. Shaka’s story has inspired thousands and serves as a powerful testament to the power of hope, compassion and unconditional love.
Oprah Winfrey has referred to her interview with Shaka for SuperSoul Sunday as “one of the best I’ve ever had—not just in my career, but in my life… His story touched my soul.” Shaka’s TED Talk, which he delivered at TED’s 30th Anniversary Conference, received a standing ovation and has been viewed more than 1.3 million times; TED later featured his talk in its “Year in Ideas” roundup, a collection of the most powerful TED Talks of 2014.
Shaka has been a guest on CNN, CBS This Morning, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Good Day New York, NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, and C-SPAN’s After Words. He has also been a guest on numerous radio programs, including All Things Considered, The Lenny Lopate Show, The Maggie Linton Show, and Power 105.1 with Angie Martinez.
Shaka is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 EBONY Power100, 2016 Ford Man of Courage, 2016 NAACP Great Expectations Award, the 2015 Manchester University Innovator of the Year, and the 2012 Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership Award. He was recently recognized by OWN as a “Soul Igniter” in the inaugural class of the SuperSoul 100, a dynamic group of trailblazers whose vision and life’s work are bringing a higher level of consciousness to the world around them and encouraging others to do the same. Shaka was also a 2014 TED Prize finalist for The Atonement Project, is a former MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and a current Fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network. He has taught at the University of Michigan and shares his story of redemption around the world