Patti's Reviews > Writing My Wrongs

Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor
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it was amazing

I grew up in suburbia, basically squishing my toes in privilege and pretty much getting my way whenever I wanted it. I waltzed through high school, college, and then law school and pranced away with no debt (calm down, kittens--I took out plenty of loans for my teaching degree). Thanks to family connections, I got an internship right out of law school and thanks to stepmom connections, I got my first "real" law job. I didn't, per se, get *handed* stuff, but let's just say it was pretty close to me on the buffet of life.

Nevertheless, I can still barely hold it together. I get ragey and then lazy and then whiny and am all OH MY GOD I DIDN'T GET WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANTED IT LIFE SUCKS WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Then I read a book like this and I want to shoot myself in the face, repeatedly. Everyone should read this book. I had the absolute privilege to share a storytelling stage with Mr. Senghor and I was torn between genuflecting and fainting. I did neither, and held it together, even when he threw his arms around me and said, "You are an excellent storyteller." That's kinda like Harper Lee dragging her dead and bloated corpse up to tell me I'm a good writer. So yeah, kind of a big deal (minus the smelly, rotting corpse).

That someone survived the childhood that Mr. Senghor did (when people are inherently smarter than me, I have a hard time calling them by their first names) and then spend 19 years in jail and then come out to do ALL the amazing things is a story that everyone should read. I want the cracker state reps who shit all over DPS to read it. I want the rich assholes who can't see beyond their next billion to read it. I want the greedy assholes who ship jobs oversees and send their kids to elite schools to read it. And yes--I want my students to read it. I have had so many students who don't see a future for themselves. They aren't necessarily wrong--we know that young, black men don't have the same opportunities as their white counterparts. They need to read about someone like themselves. They don't need to hear one more fucking white person (e.g. me) saying things like, "Well if you work hard enough you can...." "If you apply yourself, you can...." because that's bullshit. Hard work is not a bad thing, but it guarantees exactly nothing. And it's easy for me--someone who had an idyllic childhood, who sort of cakewalked through life--to say, isn't it?

People need to read this book. I will show up at your house at 3am and read it TO you, if you'd like. This book affected me in ways that I can't even articulate (and I do public speaking and writing as hobbies). I'm having a shitty time at my job right now and I seriously thought of just driving down to my dad's house in Florida and working at a clam bake bar and then I thought JESUS CHRIST YOU HAVE A DAD HOUSE IN FLORIDA TO DRIVE DOWN TO! SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GET TO WORK. So I did, and I did. Thank you, Mr. Senghor. Thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never, ever forget the words I read.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 17, 2016 – Shelved

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