Book Summary: Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor

Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor Book Cover

Writing My Wrongs is a memoir written by Shaka Senghor, a man who spent 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The book chronicles his journey from a young boy growing up in Detroit to a man who finds redemption through writing and education. In this book, Senghor shares his story of overcoming adversity, finding hope, and discovering his purpose in life.

Chapter 1: The Beginning

In the first chapter, Senghor introduces readers to his childhood in Detroit. He describes a tumultuous upbringing in a neighborhood plagued by violence and drugs. Senghor was exposed to these things at a young age and began to engage in delinquent behavior himself. Despite this, he was a bright student and had a passion for writing. However, he struggled to find positive outlets for his talents and was often drawn to negative influences.

Chapter 2: The Arrest

In the second chapter, Senghor recounts the events that led to his arrest. He was 16 years old when he was involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of a man. He was charged with murder and sent to prison for life.

Senghor describes the harsh realities of life in prison, including the violence, the drugs, and the hopelessness. He also describes the ways in which he tried to cope with his situation, including by joining a gang and engaging in other dangerous behaviors.

Chapter 3: Finding Hope

In the third chapter, Senghor shares how he found hope and purpose in life through writing. He began to write letters to friends and family members, and eventually started writing poetry. He also began to read books and educate himself on a variety of topics.

Through writing, Senghor was able to find a sense of purpose and meaning in life. He began to see himself as a writer and a thinker, rather than just a prisoner. He also began to see the potential for redemption and transformation through education and self-improvement.

Chapter 4: The Release

In the fourth chapter, Senghor describes his release from prison after serving 19 years. He was released on parole and was faced with the challenge of reentering society as a free man.

Senghor describes the challenges of adjusting to life outside of prison, including finding a job, making friends, and navigating the complexities of the criminal justice system. He also shares how he continued to pursue his passion for writing and education, eventually earning a degree from a prestigious university.

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Chapter 5: The Future

In the final chapter, Senghor reflects on his journey and shares his hopes for the future. He describes how he wants to use his experiences and education to help others who are struggling with similar issues. He also shares his desire to continue writing and sharing his story with the world.


Overall, Writing My Wrongs is a powerful and inspiring memoir that highlights the resilience and potential for transformation that exists even in the darkest of circumstances. Through his writing, Senghor has been able to find hope, purpose, and redemption, and he serves as a powerful example of the power of education and self-improvement. Whether you are a fan of memoirs, a student of criminal justice, or simply someone who is interested in personal growth and transformation, this book is sure to inspire and motivate you.

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