An inside look at the New York Times bestseller, “Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison,” by Shaka Senghor, will be featured at the Adult Book Discussion on Tuesday, April 25, 7:00 p.m. at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, 201 N. Mulberry Street.
PLMVKC Director John Chidester had the opportunity to hear Senghor address the Ohio Library Council State Conference this past fall and he will share some insight into how books, and a prison library,turned Senghor’s life around in prison and put him on the path he travels today.
In 1991, 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 who hear his words that it is never too late to change your path.
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. It is a lasting testament to the power of compassion, prayer, and unconditional love, for reaching those whom society has forgotten.
A preview of the award-winning documentary, “Serving Life,” narrated and produced by Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker, will be shown during the book discussion. A special free showing of the entire 80-min film will be on Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 p.m. at the main library as a companion to the discussion. The documentary takes viewers inside Louisiana’s maximum security prison at Angola, where the average sentence is more than 90 years. Over 85 percent of the inmates will never live in the outside world again. In a massive revamping to not only rehabilitate the institution, but to restore humanity to the worst of the worst, the pre-Civil War prison started an extraordinary hospice program where hardened criminals care for their dying fellow inmates.
The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Copies of the book are available at library locations or can be purchased at area book stores.
For more information call the main library at 740-392-2665, visit www.knox.net or email [email protected]