Writing My Wrongs Book Summary - Writing My Wrongs Book explained in key points
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Writing My Wrongs summary

Shaka Senghor

Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

3.4 (11 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

'Writing My Wrongs' by Shaka Senghor is a memoir that tells the story of a young man's transformative journey through the American prison system where he discovers the power of redemption, forgiveness, and self-reflection.

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    Writing My Wrongs
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    Shaka Senghor’s childhood took an unexpected turn when his parents’ divorce scarred him emotionally.

    Our lives can often take unpredictable twists and turns, leaving us in places far from where we thought we’d end up, or situations we’d never dreamed of. The author, Shaka Senghor, experienced one such twist at a young age, and it had a telling influence on the rest of his life.

    As a child in 1980s Detroit, Shaka grew up in a warm, loving environment with a big family. Shaka’s parents would often host family get-togethers, which would come alive with singing, eating and dancing.

    During the holidays, the family would come together to hang Christmas decorations, and Shaka recalls with particular fondness how his father would give him and his three sisters money to go to the local ice skating rink.

    Shaka had a promising future ahead of him. He remembers how, when his mother asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he’d proudly say that he wanted to become a doctor. This way, Shaka said, he could give lollipops to kids getting their shots, and help sick people to get better.

    But things took an unexpected turn for the worse when his parents’ marriage ran into trouble. Shaka’s parents first split up when he was eleven, and it devastated him. The close-knit family life he’d grown to depend on had been taken away from him.

    After a year of separation, Shaka’s parents got back together again, much to his delight; unfortunately, this only lasted for a few months. Shaka’s parents separated again, and this time, Shaka was told that he had to move to another part of Detroit with his father. Feeling confused and rejected, Shaka blamed the situation on himself. What had he done to make his mother want to get rid of him?

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    What is Writing My Wrongs about?

    Writing My Wrongs (2013) tells the story of a man growing up during Detroit’s 1980s crack epidemic. These blinks take you on a journey from his happy childhood to a life of drugs, gangs, murder and a 19-year prison sentence – and how he came to find hope and redemption through writing.

    Writing My Wrongs Review

    Writing My Wrongs (2016) is a powerful memoir that takes readers on a journey of redemption and transformation. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a raw and honest portrayal of the author's experiences in the criminal justice system, providing a unique insight into the lives of those impacted by incarceration.
    • Through his vivid storytelling and introspective reflections, Shaka Senghor explores themes of forgiveness, personal growth, and the power of education, offering valuable lessons and inspiration.
    • The book sheds light on the failures and flaws of the criminal justice system, advocating for reform and encouraging readers to question societal attitudes towards punishment and rehabilitation.

    Best quote from Writing My Wrongs

    The young Black male has perfected the art of being the best at being the worst. – Noted black psychologist Amos Wilson

    —Shaka Senghor
    example alt text

    Who should read Writing My Wrongs?

    • Activists looking to learn more about life in American prisons
    • Students of sociology seeking to complement their studies with a personal story
    • Readers with family members in the prison system

    About the Author

    Shaka Senghor is a mentor, writer and TED speaker who spent 19 years in prison for murder. He currently works as the Director of Strategy and Innovation with #cut50, an initiative to reduce the US prison population by half by the year 2025.

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    Writing My Wrongs FAQs 

    What is the main message of Writing My Wrongs?

    The main message of Writing My Wrongs is the power of redemption and the possibility of transformation.

    How long does it take to read Writing My Wrongs?

    The reading time for Writing My Wrongs varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Writing My Wrongs a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Writing My Wrongs is a powerful and thought-provoking book that sheds light on the human capacity for change and growth. Definitely worth reading!

    Who is the author of Writing My Wrongs?

    The author of Writing My Wrongs is Shaka Senghor.

    What to read after Writing My Wrongs?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Writing My Wrongs, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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