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Yusef Salaam Is Releasing a Memoir About His Wrongful Imprisonment


One of the five teens who were wrongfully imprisoned in the highly publicized 1989 “Central Park jogger” case, is penning a memoir scheduled to be released in the Spring.

Dr. Yusef Salaam's new memoir is titled “Better, Not Bitter: Living On Purpose in The Pursuit of Racial Justice.”

The publisher, ‘Grand Central Publishing’ describes Dr. Salaam’s memoir as a “candid and poignant look at the life of an American citizen, born and raised in Harlem, New York who was accused and convicted by a flawed criminal injustice system designed to ensnare and decimate as many Black and Brown bodies as possible.”

Dr. Salaam is one of the “exonerated five” the group of teens wrongfully convicted of rape and violent assault in 1989. The story was a National headline and controversial topic in the early nineties. It took over a decade for the convictions to be vacated, after convicted serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes admitted to carrying out the attack. They later received a multimillion-dollar settlement from New York City.

Ken Burns previously released a documentary about the exonerated five, however it was the 2019 miniseries “When They See Us” directed by Ava DuVernay, that taught the story to a new generation and restored interest in the details of the case.

Salaam hopes that everyone takes away from the positive outlook that helped guide him through his wrongful imprisonment. Salaam said in a statement: “Through ‘Better, Not Bitter,’ I hope to share these lessons with people around the world who – in these unprecedented times – are dealing with rage, anger and bitterness directed at a criminal system of injustice that has plagued our country for centuries.”

Dr. Salaam has been on a roll with his book releases, he just released “Punching the Air,” co-written by Ibi Zoboi, came out in September. It’s a young adult novel based on his life experiences.

Dr. Salaam prides himself as being an award-winning motivational and transformational speaker, thought leader, trainer, New York Times Best Selling author and coach.

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