WORDS of a MAN: My Right to Be

Front Cover
Omo Misha, May 30, 2017 - 96 pages
WORDS of a MAN is a selection of poems written by transformational speaker, Yusef Salaam, during his wrongful incarceration (1987-1995) in connection with the Central Park Jogger case. The case attracted nationwide attention and was the subject of many articles and books, both during and after the trials. Convictions were overturned when the real rapist - a since convicted murderer serving a life sentence - confessed to the crimes and proved to be a DNA match. Ten years later, documentarian Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon released the award-winning film, The Central Park Five, which told of this travesty from the perspective of Yusef and his cohorts.. These writings - addressing a wide range of subjects from the justice system, to love, and black life in general - helped to get a young Yusef Salaam through several years of unjust imprisonment. He hopes they will be a source of inspiration for others - especially young men of color.

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About the author (2017)

Yusef Salaam is an influential transformational speaker, who was exonerated in the widely-publicized Central Park Jogger case (1989), along with four African american and Latino boys who were convicted and served time. Since the convictions were overturned in 2002, Yusef has traveled all around the United States and the Caribbean to deliver powerful lectures and facilitate insightful conversations as he continues to touch lives and raise important questions about race and class, the failings of our criminal justice system, legal protections for vulnerable juveniles, and basic human rights.Of his many notable speaking engagements, Yusef Salaam has been honored or spoken at Amherst College; The Andrew Goodman Foundation; The Black Star Project; Brooklyn Technical High School; Cardozo School of Law; The City College of New York; Columbia Law School; Harvard University; Howard University School of Law; Justice League NYC; Lehman College; Pace University; Pennsylvania State University; NAACP; National Action Network; National Conference for Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education; The New School; New York University; Smith College; TEDxSingSing; United Nations; University of the Virgin Islands; The University of Chicago, and many others.Since his release more than 14 years ago, Yusef has become a family man, father, poet, activist and inspirational speaker. He has committed himself to advocating for and educating people on the issues of mass incarceration, police brutality and misconduct, false confessions, press ethics and bias, race and law, and the disparities in America's criminal justice system, especially for young men of color.

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