I discovered my love for writing while I was incarcerated and started taking it seriously during my four and half year stint in solitary confinement. I penned my first novel "Shadow Watchers" on the back of prison stationary and continued to write stories that captured the gritty street life that I knew from my years in Detroit's drug culture. I later wrote and published my second novel "Crack" in 2008, two years before my release. I eventually wrote the sequel to "Crack" and published it on the anniversary of my homecoming in June 2011. I am known for my vivid, detailed writing and enjoy drawing my readers in through movie-like storylines. In 2012, I finished writing my memoir, a project I started while I was incarcerated. It is raw and candid and touches on many of the issues that I address in my talks, particularly when speaking to youth.
A very personal and inspiring memoir about my life in the streets and in prison and the transformation that I made from an uncaring "thug" to a principled, progressive man committed to sharing my story with other youth who may be headed down the same destructive path that led me to prison.
Live in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope
Live In Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope was born out of my experience as a mentor and big homie to many misguided and angry youth who, like me, had been victims and perpetrators of gun violence but had not adequately dealt with the trauma of their experiences. It was through journaling that I discovered I had a lot of emotional trauma that I had failed to process in a healthy way. When I realized what I was experiencing, I had an ‘aha’ moment and recognized that there were other young men and women in our community going through the same thing, and ultimately, this unprocessed emotinal trauma is at the root of the violence we see. It was after seeing the power of writing on my own transformation that I decided to use literature as a tool of change and help other youth transform their lives.
Crack: Volume 1 follows lead homicide detective Devon Jensen through the grimy streets of Detroit's underworld. Fresh from a stint down in Atlanta, Detective Jensen returns home only to be hurled into a world of chaos when he is forced to solve the murder of a childhood friend. As the body count increases, and the bullets begin to fly in his direction, Detective Jensen begins to realize that he may be in way over his head. As he investigates the link between his childhood friend, who was the Vice President of a Mercedes Benz dealership, and two rival drug families, he finds himself fighting to save his own life and the life of the woman he has grown to love.
© 2014 BY SHAKA SENGHOR
In Crack: Volume 2, Detective Jensen is thrown head first into the volatile world of prison politics. Ordered to go undercover inside the Willie Lynch Prison Complex, Detective Jensen sets out to solve a string of murders with links to an old nemesis. The closer he comes to solving the murders, the more he realizes that his life and the life of the woman he loves is in grave danger. In this sequel jam packed with violence, greed and deceit, the only thing that stands the test of time is loyalty and the unbreakable bonds of family love.