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Shaka Shengor with Boyd and Lucinda

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Once a very angry, bitter young man, it was books that saved Shaka from self-destructing and allowed him to see beyond the barbed-wire fences that held him captive.  In an environment where hopelessness and despair grow like weeds, writing became his refuge.  While incarcerated, Shaka used the tools available to him to develop his writing skills, eventually penning six novels and countless poems and articles.  He is the author of the highly addictive novels “Crack: Volume 1,” and “Crack: Volume 2,” and most recently penned a book for misguided youth entitled “Live in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope,” a companion piece to his mentoring program “Live in Peace.” Determined to beat the odds, Shaka hit the ground running as soon as he was released in June 2010, working with youth at the Detroit Job Corps, Cody High School, Don Bosco Hall, and the City of Southfield's alternative high school.  In January 2011, he made his acting debut in the “Mocha Monologues: Male Edition,” playing Darren, a single father who is often misjudged by society.  Whether writing street lit or poetry, Shaka speaks the truth about the oppressive conditions of the 'hood and the not-so-glamorous side of the streets. He writes in a way that compels his readers to see the hope and humanity of a discarded generation shaped by the crack epidemic, the fall of the auto industry and the rise of the prison industrial complex.  Shaka Senghor is a writer, mentor and founding CEO of Drop a Gem Publishing, LLC, a company he founded while serving 19 years in prison.  Refusing to allow his circumstances to define who he was or what he was capable of, Shaka spent his incarceration studying and preparing for life after prison. 

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