Read these two books back to back
Read separately, Writing my Wrongs and Hillbilly Elegy are wonderful and important books that describe, in acute detail, the breakdown of our society.
Enjoy back-to-back, the two texts are a powerful testament of the desperate need to revive strong, supportive families.
Writing my Wrongs, written by Shaka Senghor, was an incredibly tough read, and that’s exactly why I dove in headfirst.
See, I’m a sheltered white dude from Idaho and I have zero cultural understanding of the problems that affect urban families. Senghor’s book took me deep into Detroit’s drug game and the scene wasn’t pretty.
J.D. Vance’s much-celebrated Hillbilly Elegy offered a peek into a the hillbilly culture of Kentucky and southwestern Ohio.
Vance shared his family’s struggles with opioid abuse, while Senghor detailed his time in the crack game. Neither was pretty, but both were telling.
I was particularly struck that she families shared a common trait: emotional and physical abuse at the hands of the parents.
Senghor left his home in his early teens after he reached the end of his rope at home. His mom was an earthly demon, and abused him physically and emotionally.
Shortly after departing his home, the then-homeless Senghor was quickly swept up in Detroit’s drug game. A few years later, he murdered a man for no good reason.
Vance’s story isn’t as dramatic, but it’s painful nonetheless. His mother was an opioid addict, emotionally unstable and she ran through marriages like some run through toilet paper.
Both men are victims of crumbled families.
Vance was a little luckier than Senghor — well, as lucky as either man could be. Vance was fortunate enough to have a backstop to catch him when the pain of his mother’s emotional instability threatened to ruin him: his grandparents.
Senghor found solace, friendship, money and support in the drug game.
Both men, in their own ways, are survivors.
Read the books.