Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

I received a copy of Writing My Wrongs from Blogging for Books. The opinions contained within this review are mine and may vary from the opinions of others.

About Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison-

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 the story of what came next. During his nineteen-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, Senghor discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of 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 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 Festival.

In equal turns, Writing My Wrongs is a page-turning portrait of life in the shadow of poverty, violence, and fear; an unforgettable story of redemption, reminding us that our worst deeds don’t define us; and a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.

What We Thought-

Being a former law enforcement family I admit to knowing pretty much only one side of the life behind bars, and that side is the one that happens before any convictions or sentencing. I attended college and obtained my criminal justice degree, but never practiced any sort of law or enforcement.

I went at this book with an open mind and heart and feel that the emotions that the author explained were both real and very raw. I feel this book should be read in schools or detention centers and especially should be available in the prison systems to let others know they are not alone.

Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouths and the author of this book was definitely one of those cases. This book was gripping, and was very hard to put down. It was one that I hated to have end because I wanted it to just keep going.

Some would find that the book going from past to present would be a bit difficult and often confusing but I found it to be compelling. It was nice to see the real emotions of someone who was on the inside of a system that is often viewed as very flawed.

If you are looking for a great weekend read, check out Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison


Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 8 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

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