Bestselling author Shaka Senghor on redemption and atonement, the making of the Commie High documentary, and civil rights attorney Dick Soble… on this weekend’s edition of the Saturday Six Pack


On this Saturday’s show, we’ll be joined by Shaka Senghor, the author of the New York Times bestseller Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison. A recent Detroit-based fellow at MIT’s Media Lab, Senghor was released from prison in 2010, after serving 19 years for second-degree murder, a crime which he admitted to having committed at the age of 19, two years after having been shot multiple times himself in drug deal gone bad. It was during a four-and-a-half-year stint in solitary confinement for a physical altercation with a corrections officer that Senghor, who had been an honors student in East Detroit before running away from an abusive household at the age of 14, decided to try his hand at writing. His most recent book, Writing My Wrongs, which is about his path toward redemption, has taken him these past few weeks from Oprah to the The Daily Show, and, on Saturday, he’ll be here at the AM 1700 studio to discuss redemption, atonement, and prison reform, among other things. [Senghor was in D.C. this afternoon for a White House briefing on “Life After Clemency”.]

For those of you who have never heard Senghor speak about the experiences that led him to prison, and the events which then brought him to where he is today, working in Detroit to make sure that other young people don’t find themselves in prison, here’s a video from a 2014 TED talk titled, Why Your Worst Deeds Don’t Define You.

[At the end of the video, you’ll here Senghor mention Calvin Evans, who we’ve had on the show before to talk about his work within Ann Arbor’s Urban Ashes to give ex-felons a second chance. Well, if all works according to play, Evans will be joining us in the studio during this episode as well.]

Then, during out 7:00 hour, we’ll be joined by Ann Arbor civil rights attorney Dick Soble, who I’ve always wanted to just sit and have a beer with. I’m sure we’ll talk about his long career in civil rights, the state of the Michigan court system today, and his thoughts on both judicial and prison reform. [Soble, who was a managing partner at the Detroit law firm of Goodman, Eden Millender & Bedrosian, today focuses is in the area of alternate dispute resolution and arbitration.] I don’t think I’m exaggerating at all when I say that Dick is one of the most thoughtful human beings I have ever had the pleasure of encountering, and I’m excited to introduce him to those of you who have never had the pleasure.

And, in our final segment, we’ll talk with local filmmaker Donald Harrison about his most recent project, a documentary about about downtown Ann Arbor’s alternative high school, Commie High. Here, if you’ve yet to see it, is the teaser reel that Harrison posted a few days ago on Kickstarter in hopes of raising the $45,000 necessary to complete the film. [As of today, with two weeks left, Harrison has raised almost $17,000.]


Unless you live inside the AM 1700 studio, chances are you won’t be able to pick the show up on your radio. As that’s the case, I’d recommend streaming the show online, which you can do either on the AM1700 website or by way of

And for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the show, and need to get caught up, you can listen to the entire archive on iTunes.

One last thing… If you’d like to tell your friends and neighbors about the program, feel free to share the Facebook event listing.

And, here, thanks to AM 1700 senior graphic designer Kate de Fuccio, is this week’s poster, in case any of you want to print copies and leave them at one of your favorite highway rest areas.


And do call us if you have a chance. We love phone calls. So please copy down this number and slide it into your sock – 734.217.8624 – and call us between 6:00 and 8:00 this Saturday evening. The show is nothing without you… Sure, sometimes it’s nothing even with you, that’s true, but usually your active participation makes it better.

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  1. Patti Smith
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    He will be storytelling at Telling Tales Out of School! I will be telling there too. I have to say that I am totally freaked out being on the same stage…nothing I have to say will compare!

  2. Posted March 31, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that, as a teacher in Detroit Public Schools, you have a few good stories of your own, Patti.

  3. Amy Probst
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    You don’t have a studio audience, do you? I’m reading his book now. So good.

  4. Six Pack Admin
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Sadly, Amy, we won’t have any free room on Saturday. The studio is small, and our free spots are already spoken for. If you’d like to call the studio, though, we’d love to have you weigh in.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Given the number of rich Community High alumni in the world, you would think that $45,000 would be a slam dunk.

  6. Lynne
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Are there speakers outside? Of so, people could sit outside and listen while staring at you creepily through the window.

  7. Lynne
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Anon, I havent made my donation yet but I plan to :)

  8. Alice
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I often meet students who come directly to college after, and it’s a real struggle for them to actually get the “real” second chance that we say as a society that a person is “supposed” to get if you paid your debit of punishment – for them- the debit is never really truely paid because society really doesn’t foster a “true second chance”, and that along with the inability of society to actually be forgiving …. It’s a though road…. for EVERYONE!

  9. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    So, because I think the documentary is a terrible idea, for real. I will post my two cents, and write and communicate to you all that a documentary about Community High School in Ann Arbor Michigan is a terrible idea, first because it will violate various minors lives. mostly by violating their privacy, by having documentaries made about them, to promote a school district, a district that has, only one such school, and two, well, the one reason is enough of a reason for no one to support this documentary, whether a minor or the parent or guardian has signed a consent to appear in the documentary or not.

  10. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    To Mark Maynard…Have you met Elaine Brown yet?

  11. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    She is at the board meetings…usually.

  12. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I do believe she is the last
    African American on Dr. Swift’s cabinet.

  13. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Yeah, that is how it is there, Mark.

  14. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I will be getting a letter from the lawyers shortly, as you will, as well.

  15. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Maria, please consider consolidating smaller posts into one post in the future. Mark only has 10 places in the “recent comments” notification section. If someone posts something interesting on an older thread then an interesting comment might have a good chance to go unseen because of the multiple smaller posts that might displace other comments. Just a thought.

  16. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I, too would rather not post here any more, Frosted Flakes, but certainly you are correct.

  17. Peter Larson
    Posted April 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Remember Tatersalad?

  18. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 6, 2016 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    I remember the name. Why did you ask?

  19. Meta
    Posted April 13, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Michale Moore is now pushing the Commie High film.

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