ABOUT SHAKA SENGHOR
Shaka Senghor is a lecturer at universities, a leading voice on criminal justice reform, and the New York Times bestselling author of Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison. Senghor is a former MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow, a former fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Community Leadership Network, and a member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100. In the decade since his release from prison, he has started and worked with nonprofits seeking to lift people up, visited the White House, been interviewed by Trevor Noah and Oprah Winfrey, given award-winning TED talks, and tirelessly worked to help create the personal and societal change we need for a more inspired, just, fulfilling future.
A MESSAGE FROM SHAKA
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
The New York Times bestselling author and Detroit native, Shaka Senghor leads the critical discussion around Black fatherhood with the release of his highly anticipated book Letters to the Sons of Society. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM), Senghor will launch his national letter writing campaign #MyFatherIsDope. This is a nationwide call for fathers to write and share their own letters to their children. The campaign launched Monday, January 17th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“When I began writing Letters to the Sons of Society, I was reminded of how important my dad's letters had been to me, and I wanted to invite other fathers and their children into the sacred experience of sending and receiving letters,” said Shaka Senghor. “The work that the BGCSM team are doing is aligned with my passion as a mentor and a dad. It's a natural extension of what I believe my purpose is as an ambassador of literature, and social impact investor. “
The #MyFatherIsDope is a national campaign focusing on diverse stories that celebrate the importance of fatherhood from multiple perspectives. The collected letters will be used to develop a signature coffee table book that will be distributed nationally for Father’s Day 2022. All proceeds will go back to support programming, membership and operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan.
“Fatherhood is more than a word, and it’s not just biological, father-figures are the cornerstones in the lives of many youth, especially Black and brown youth,” said Shawn H. Wilson, president & CEO BGCSM. “Collaborating with Shaka to find a way to amplify and encourage the many fathers around the nation is an exciting and impactful experience. Shaka, BGCSM and I look forward to uplifting the voices of our diverse fathers and hope more will submit their own letters too.”
The campaign will run from January 19th, 2022, through June 2022.
About the Book: Letters to the Sons of Society
Shaka Senghor has lived the life of two fathers. With his first son, Jay, born shortly after Senghor was incarcerated for second-degree murder, he experienced the regret of his own mistakes and the disconnection caused by a society that sees Black lives as disposable. With his second, Sekou, born after Senghor's release, he has experienced healing, transformation, intimacy, and the possibilities of a world where men and boys can openly show one another affection, support, and love.
In this collection of beautifully written letters to Jay and Sekou, Senghor traces his journey as a Black man in America and unpacks the toxic and misguided messages about masculinity, mental health, love, and success that boys learn from an early age. He issues a passionate call to all fathers and sons—fathers who don't know how to show their sons love, sons who are navigating a fatherless world, boys who have been forced to grow up before their time—to cultivate positive relationships with other men, seek healing, tend to mental health, grow from pain, and rewrite the story that has been told about them.
Letters to the Sons of Society is a soulful examination of the bond between fathers and sons, and a touchstone for anyone seeking a kinder, more just world.