Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Drop a Gem Publishing
Purchase at: Amazon
In 1991, at the age of nineteen, Shaka Senghor shot and killed a man. He was a young drug dealer with a quick temper who had been hardened by what he experienced selling drugs on the unforgiving streets of Detroit. For years, as he served out his sentence for second degree murder, he blamed everybody else but himself for the decision he made to shoot on that fateful night. It wasn't until Shaka started writing about the pain from his childhood and his life on the streets that he was able to get at the root of the anger that led him to prison. Through the power of journaling, he accepted responsibility for his violent behavior and now uses his experience to help others avoid the same path.
I came across this book a few months ago and have been meaning to read it. I put it off because I will be honest, I did not want to know about prison life. I have heard of stories about how life is in prison and why torture myself? I decided that I had to put on my big girl pants and read this book because it is not just about prison, it is about one man’s journey of redemption.
“All of which brought me to this moment, staring at a broken man’s face in the scratched steel mirror of Cell 211, in the solitary confinement wing of a correctional facility in western Michigan. It was the beginning of a journey that would culminate eight years later, when I wrote a letter to the man I had killed.”
I truly appreciate how “real” this book was. Shaka did not try to paint himself as a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. He started from the beginning and told us his story. Which really just broke my heart because it started out so well for him and the catalyst that brought him to the streets was so preventable.
The story flows from present to past and is done seamlessly. The Author really gives you all the details both good and bad. Through his storytelling you really can understand him and his downward spiral into drugs, dealing and murder. I love how he was honest about his path to the forgiveness of himself. It was not an overnight occurrence. It took him years to even get to the point were he could face the reality of how hurt and broken he was. Being able to face himself and make the hard choices to heal in PRISON with no loved ones to help him or guide him, that is strength!
This story will grab you from the beginning. You will become enamored with Shaka and the emotional rollercoaster will both be painful, heart wrenching, and compelling. I am beyond grateful that this amazing person is out there, trying to make a difference with others on the path to destruction. I recommend this book to everybody because we all need more empathy to the youth in need. Definitely a good read!