Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor [Book Summary]

Do you recall when you were still a teenager? For the majority of the people, that had been the time we had our first experience in being independent of our mothers and fathers. Those times had been thrilling at the times we attempted smoking, dating, and having alcohol initially ever. However, these were also the moments of sensitive confusion when we strived to discover boundaries and had a clash with mom and dad – and perhaps the law as well

The majority of us survived those challenging times mainly unharmed. But for others, as well as the writer, Senghor, went off the tracks. This book summary is the tale of the way, as a fourteen-year-old, Senghor got into an environment of violence and drugs during the peak time of the prevalent pandemic around Detroit.

In spite of being in a secure house with his lovely family, Senghor fell into extremely destructive behaviors like earning money through drugs, killing people, and finally, ending up imprisoned. This summary will explain Senghor’s life journey, highlighting to you what led him to this bad way and the way he discovered redemption.

Buy this book from Amazon

Chapter 1 – The time of Senghor as a kid changed suddenly at the time his mother and father’s divorce damaged him sensitively inside.

People’s lives may frequently take unexpected changes and turns, putting them in situations away from the places we imagined we’d be in, or circumstances we’d never imagined. Shaka Senghor, the author went through such a change as a teenager, and that impacted what he lived enormously.

In Detroit, as a teenager around 1980, Shaka was brought up in affectionate, loving surroundings in his big family. Senghor’s mom and dad would frequently spend time together as a family, which ended up being interesting by eating delicious food, dancing, and singing. 

His family would unite to decorate their home and Christmas trees during the holidays, and Shaka remembers with specific affection the way his dad would offer him as well as his three sisters’ money so they could ice skate on the regional rink.

Senghor possessed a hopeful future in front of himself. He recalls the way, at the time his mom asked him the thing he would like to become when he was older, he would proudly tell that he would like to be a doctor. And Shaka said, by becoming a doctor he might give candies to children getting their treatments, and assist ill individuals to cure their illnesses.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – September 20 – CJ Jordan, Shaka Senghor, Felicia Horowitz, Jules Horowitz and Divine Lombard attend Van Jones 50th Birthday Bash – A Benefit for The Dream Corps on September 20th 2018 at Fort Mason in San Francisco, CA (Photo – Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography)

However, things changed suddenly for much worse at the time his mom and dad’s marriage got into a problem. Their first separation happened when Shaka was just 11, and that shattered him. The very close family experience he was developed to trust was farther from himself.

A year after their divorce, his mom and dad fixed things and turned to each other once more which was good news for him; sadly, this only happened for just some months. His mom and dad split once more, and at this moment, they said that Shaka needed to relocate to a different area of Detroit together with his dad. Sensing confusion and rejection, Shaka held himself responsible for the situation. What did he do to his mom to reject him?

Chapter 2 – In an attempt to discover his path, Shaka got in the hands of the incorrect people, directing him to violence and drugs.

Have you ever considered running away while you were still a kid? Actually, Senghor had been some of those rare ones that eventually did that. In 1986, at the age of 14, at the peak of Detroit’s pandemic. He was engrossed with dating girls, staying out, and smoking till late at night.

Senghor’s mom was disheartened. Whenever he went to see his mother during the weekend, she didn’t know how to handle his unruly behavior but to physically punish him, or tell him he had the choice to take his stuff and leave the house. Soon, Shaka did exactly that.

Having no revenue, Senghor started to stay with his friends, telling them to feed him and provide a place to stay. He started staying in the filth of one of his friends’ basement floors, understanding that to live in a decent place, he had to get a job.

He got a deal for work at the time Senghor met someone called Miko. This guy was searching for a person to “roll” – meaning, sell illegal drugs in place of him. Miko offered a weekly payment of $350, with an additional $10 daily for food. Provided that Shaka would need to be ready around the place that Miko’s buyers would see him, night and day, 7 days weekly.

Around the drug-trading hierarchy, that could be the worst job you might find. However, the pay had been nice and Senghor was indigent; therefore, he accepted the offer. Miko tried him outside, having a bag that had 100 little crack stones, also called “nickels.” Shaka’s work was selling those for $5 for one. At the age of only fourteen, Shaka had been very armed with a gun, loaded, to ensure that customers didn’t attempt to burst him or destroy Shaka off.

Chapter 3 – Shortly, Shaka learned the community attestation that goes with dealing, and the ugly experiences of addicted people.

The majority of the teenagers who are at the age of 14 possess distinct main concerns compared to adults; as a teenager, that is simple to get engrossed by your yearning for community attestation and being rich. That was particularly the case for Senghor, and with the lack of parental guidance, nothing was refraining him.

Immediately, Shaka became engrossed by the dollars he got. Equipped with the weekly pay, he started going to local malls regularly, obtaining the newest shoes and outfits. Choosing among Ballys, Jordans, and Filas, Senghor used more money setting his clothing staples in a shorter time compared to the majority of adults could during their lifetimes.

Shaka’s new way of life came with fresh recognition from his mates. Girls gathered around him, and this way his male peers have more respect for him, allowing this fresh lifestyle to be more and more intoxicating.

However, this didn’t indicate Shaka didn’t know the darker parts of addicted people’s lives. As the trader, Senghor encountered a lot of apparently ordinary individuals whose experiences were destroyed by their dependence on drugs.

For example, one man called John had been the example of a normal middle-segment person before the dependence on crack made him lose his job and loved ones. Senghor and his group had time around John’s old family house, which John allowed them to utilize for this job. There, Senghor was encircled with the ruins of John’s previous life, such as portraits of his children and wife.

Immediately, Shaka came to realize of a weird sensation that those dollars cannot get everything. Eventually, the piles of dollars on his hand could not give him the things he actually wanted, which is to be accepted and loved. As Senghor used more time with his drug-dependent, high-strung buyers, he became more and more lonely – however, he could never acknowledge it.

Chapter 4 – Shaka remained following an unlighted route, and everything finished at the time he was imprisoned for murder.

What do you imagine regarding drug addicts? Loving mothers? School teachers? Recognized business people? As Senghor would shortly learn by living, the crack pandemic that engrossed Detroit around 1980 influenced all parts of the community and every region of the area.

That drug living led Shaka in one-to-one contact with misery and suffering. In one incident, Shaka met with a female called the “chief doctor.” Having dirty clothes, messy hair, and bloody eyes, this woman showed all the clear marks of crack dependence. People referred to her as the “chief doctor” since she would give oral sex in exchange for crack with individuals who possessed those, even though they were only a child, such as Senghor.

Living things such as these caused damages to Senghor’s understanding of compassion and morality. Taking crack himself, soon enough, Shaka ended up in dangerous circumstances. At only the age of 15, Shaka tried suicide by overdosing.

But, he survived just to become gun fired from his leg several moments by a competitor trader at the age of only 18. Even though his miserable peers wanted an ambulance, that ambulance did not come. Circumstances such as those had all been really popular during Detroit’s crack pandemic because emergency aids saw Shaka’s neighborhood as a really dangerous to go to. This experience made Shaka feel nervous and unsafe, and to handle this, he started having a weapon every time.

Shaka’s situation got worse when another attack occurred – however, at that moment, that was Senghor that did the shooting. At the age of nineteen, Senghor had a disagreement with 2 of the male customers. Having become suspicious and anxious, he assumed the men were secret policemen and at the time the stress increased, Shaka took his weapon and killed a man.

That murder would transform his life forever, as he has faced imprisonment for nineteen years.

Chapter 5 – While he was a prisoner, Senghor had no break from the assault that had afflicted his life outside.

The US prisons have been really unsafe environments. Violent crimes and theft are common there, and safeguards may do a bit to defend inmates from one another.

Let’s look at the tale of a convict on Senghor’s block called Seven. As soon as Seven offered a part of his morning meal to a new inmate. Afterward, Seven questioned the new inmate on the way he would compensate him in return for that nourishment. The new inmate, bewildered, told that he assumed Seven offered the food because he wasn’t hungry.

Unexpectedly, Seven took hold of the convict from his throat, blocking his respite until he was nearly passed out. Afterward, Seven raped that convict while the whole fellow convicts and guards were watching; surprisingly, they did nothing to prevent him. Shaka saw all this happen before he even got to this place – it happened at the time he was waiting for the sentencing decision around the Jail of Wayne County.

During the decision, Senghor was sentenced to seventeen to fourteen years imprisonment for that murder. An initial prison he saw himself inside had been known as the Reformatory of Michigan.

Did you recall reading regarding the Roman gladiators that could battle till death just for pleasure? That place was called the “School of Gladiators” by the inmates.

Immediately, Shaka discovered that inside the prison as a convict, the people who displayed weakness are picked on. During Senghor’s initial day at the Reformatory of Michigan, he saw another new inmate called Kevin. Kevin looked like he was a good person to Shaka; however, when experienced inmates searched for new inmates to tease, they selected Kevin as the feeble one.

After, Shaka recognized some convicts taking Kevin further away, and Senghor thought that the convicts would rape him. Senghor later discovered that he, Kevin, had committed suicide.

Chapter 6 – Shaka protested contrary to the structure for years – however, by writing and reading, his viewpoint on this life was changed.

When you consider the greatest environment to be educated in, prison probably wouldn’t be part of the initial you would think of – however, this was actually the circumstance for Senghor. With the entire time he unexpectedly had, Shaka started to take books from the library of the prison.

Soon, Shaka found the writings of writers like Malcolm X. Those writers talked about subjects like African people’s history around the US, and those books assisted Shaka to understand the subjects of races around the US. He now understands more why jails were excessively occupied with blacks.

However, although he could learn a lot, Shaka developed his “harm or be harmed” jail mindset. He saw himself in regular arguments with guardians and other convicts, and that frequently signified physically injuring peer black convicts in order for him not to be seen as being weak.

Shaka detected the flaw in operating the harassment of these individuals at the same time damaging other black convicts, and this made him frustrated and confused. Ultimately, Senghor was imprisoned with 7 years of private imprisonment for those severe deeds.

In those 7 years, Shaka began writing a diary, and those pages of his diary made him really start to think about the occurrences that happened with his experiences that got him in prison. Shaka could deal with his behaviors for the first time.

That had been a life-changing moment for Senghor. He began to participate in social pursuits in jail. Shaka planned occasions for Kwanzaa and the month of Black History for his companion black convicts and he also advised teenager convicts and nurtured reading and writing, self-scrutiny, and exploration.

Senghor’s society activity made him learn about an organization called HOPE(H for Helping, O for Our, P for Prisoners, and E for Elevate). With HOPE, Senghor saw Ebony, one female that was an employee of the organization. In their growing intercourse, Ebony gave Shaka the important support required to prepare him for his freedom out of the jail. Eventually, while he was 38 years old, Senghor got out of jail on June twenty-second, 2010.

Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor Book Review

The environment of assault, crime, and drugs has been the usual reality for a lot of people, especially those people who were exhaustively troubled by our present society. However, it is likely for people with distressed backgrounds to be brought back, and seek meaning and hope by writing, reading, and social participation.

Buy this book from Amazon

Download Pdf


Download Epub



Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

Recent Posts