The uplifting story of a convict who beat a life prison sentence through education and dedication.
Entrepreneur Wilson was just a teenager when he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Though a passion for books buoyed his early adolescence in 1990s Washington, D.C., they remained dark days suffused with random thefts and the violent deaths of young friends. When his hardworking mother became embroiled in a severely abusive relationship with a corrupt policeman, the situation forced an angry, embittered Wilson to arm himself and plummet deeper into a life of crime. During an altercation, the author fired a series of panicked shots, killing a man; he was later convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Maryland at age 17, hopeless and shunned by his family. “I was young; I was black; I had a record seventeen pages long,” he writes. Wilson candidly shares the eye-opening details of his time in prison with a prose style that moves with directness and refreshingly unfettered honesty. Wilson seamlessly moves from his most downtrodden moments sealed away in prison to the motivational moments when he connected and shared ideas with a fellow lifer, earned his GED and college degrees, and learned multiple languages. Despite years devoted to his education and self-improvement initiatives, numerous courtroom appeals for leniency were denied until, finally, his chance at a new life was granted with a sentence reduction and parole. All of these events, both promising and discouraging, fueled Wilson’s lofty “master plan” and an entrepreneurial spirit that inspired him to cultivate a socially responsible business venture, Barclay Investment Corporation, which matches unemployed Baltimore area residents with clients who have service needs. The author’s passionately written memoir, infused with all the frustrations of making mistakes and seeking atonement, will give hope to readers who find themselves involved, to any degree, with the long road from incarceration to freedom.
A smoothly written memoir steeped in positive reinforcement and hope for the future.