In 1991, Shaka Senghor pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and spent the next 19 years behind bars, seven of them in solitary confinement. Today, six years out of jail, Senghor has become a vocal advocate for prison reform, and tackling the problem of mass incarceration, in all its complex ugliness, head on.
Senghor’s memoir, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison, was released in March 2016 and debuted on The New York Times Best Seller List as well as The Washington Post Best Seller List. An unforgettable tale of forgiveness and second chances, Writing My Wrongs reminds us that our worst deeds don't define who we are or what we can contribute to the world.
Shaka’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, who called her conversation with him one of the best she has ever had, aired in 2016. His TED talk has over a million views, and he has become one of the most prominent faces of a celebrity-backed national initiative called #cut50, which is seeking to cut the staggering two million-strong American prison population in half over the next 10 years.
Shaka’s story has inspired thousands and serves as a powerful testament to the power of hope, compassion and unconditional love.
Shaka spent nearly two decades in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, and spent 7 of those years in solitary confinement. But he says that it's life after prison that can be much more shocking.