Dr. Yusef Salaam Presented by Bookmarks

event image graphic book cover and author photoBookmarks, Wake Forest Law, The Foundation for Prosecutorial Accountability Project, and Wake Forest University Slavery, Race, and Memory Project are thrilled to present a free virtual event with Dr. Yusef Salaam on the publication day of his new book Better, Not Bitter. Salaam will be in conversation with Phoebe Zerwick, a prize-winning investigative journalist, narrative writer and college teacher, specializing in telling complex stories in human terms. To register, click HERE

The event is part of Bookmarks' Book with Purpose program, which aims to unite the Winston-Salem community over the summer with a one-read initiative for all ages. In 2021, the focus is antiracism and the program will be using books for preschool to adult readers by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Jason Reynolds, and Sonja Cherry-Paul. Bookmarks hopes to connect people from all walks of life in meaningful discussions about racism and antiracism through a variety of book club talks, author conversations, panel discussions with community leaders, and more.

Better, Not Bitter is the Bookmarks Signed First Editions Club selection for May. Signed copies will be available to new members while supplies last; click here to learn more. All Signed First Editions Club members will automatically be registered to attend this event. 

About Dr. Yusef Salaam:
Yusef Salaam is the inspirational speaker and prison reform activist, who, at age fourteen was one of the five teenage boys wrongly convicted and sentenced to prison in the Central Park jogger case. In 1997, he left prison as an adult to a world he didn't fully recognize or understand. In 2002, the sentences for the Central Park Five were overturned, and all Five were exonerated for the crime they didn't commit.

Yusef now travels the world as an inspirational speaker, speaking about the effects of incarceration and the devastating impact of disenfranchisement. He is an advocate and educator on issues of mass incarceration, police brutality and misconduct, press ethics and bias, race and law, and the disparities in the criminal justice system, especially for men of color.

About Better, Not Bitter:
This inspirational memoir serves as a call to action from prison reform activist Yusef Salaam, of the Exonerated Five, that will inspire us all to turn our stories into tools for change in the pursuit of racial justice.

They didn't know who they had. 

So begins Yusef Salaam telling his story. No one's life is the sum of the worst things that happened to them, and during Yusef Salaam's seven years of wrongful incarceration as one of the Central Park Five, he grew from child to man, and gained a spiritual perspective on life. Yusef learned that we're all "born on purpose, with a purpose." Despite having confronted the racist heart of America while being "run over by the spiked wheels of injustice," Yusef channeled his energy and pain into something positive, not just for himself but for other marginalized people and communities.

Better, Not Bitter is the first time that one of the now Exonerated Five is telling his individual story, in his own words. Yusef writes his narrative: growing up Black in central Harlem in the '80s, being raised by a strong, fierce mother and grandmother, his years of incarceration, his reentry, and exoneration. Yusef connects these stories to lessons and principles he learned that gave him the power to survive through the worst of life's experiences. He inspires readers to accept their own path, to understand their own sense of purpose. With his intimate personal insights, Yusef unpacks the systems built and designed for profit and the oppression of Black and Brown people. He inspires readers to channel their fury into action, and through the spiritual, to turn that anger and trauma into a constructive force that lives alongside accountability and mobilizes change.

This memoir is an inspiring story that grew out of one of the gravest miscarriages of justice, one that not only speaks to a moment in time or the rage-filled present, but reflects a 400-year history of a nation's inability to be held accountable for its sins. Yusef Salaam's message is vital for our times, a motivating resource for enacting change. Better, Not Bitter has the power to soothe, inspire and transform. It is a galvanizing call to action.

About Phoebe Zerwick:
Phoebe Zerwick, director and associate professor of the practice, is an investigative journalist, narrative writer, and web-based documentary maker who teaches writing and journalism in the Journalism and Writing programs. She came to teaching after 20 years at the Winston-Salem Journal, where she was a reporter, columnist and editor. In 2003, Zerwick wrote a series about the wrongful murder conviction of Darryl Hunt, which led to his exoneration. Zerwick has written for a wide range of publications, including Glamour, Parents, National Geographic,  O, The Oprah MagazineOur State, the Duke Law Magazine, and The Nation and her work has been recognized by The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, Columbia University, and the North Carolina Press Association. Zerwick has a BA from the University of Chicago in General Studies (1982) and an MS from Columbia University in Journalism (1987).

International Customers: We are happy to ship to most international addresses but cannot process these orders through our automated website. To process a phone payment, please call us at (336) 747-1471 x 1000 Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. or Sunday from 12-6 p.m. To process an online payment, email staff@bookmarksnc.org with your name, order information, and shipping address, and we will send you a PayPal invoice.

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Please be aware of our Code of Conduct:
Bookmarks has a zero tolerance policy for harassment of any kind in person or social media, including but not limited to: Stalking; intimidation; offensive verbal comments; physical assault and/or battery; harassing or non-consensual photography or recording; sustained disruption of programs, panels, signings, and other events; bathroom policing; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome physical attention, in relation to, but not limited to: race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender presentation, sexual orientation, age, body size, ability, appearance, religion, citizenship, pregnancy. If a person engages in harassing behavior, Bookmarks Staff will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including but not limited to expulsion from the Bookmarks sponsored event or premises. This policy applies to everyone (exhibitors, attendees, authors, speakers, guests, press, staff, board members, and volunteers) at all of Bookmarks events and programming. Anyone can report harassment. If someones behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, you should immediately contact Bookmarks staff or security. In this virtual landscape, we ask that you remain respectful as you would for an in person event. We will remove and ban you from virtual events if you submit any inappropriate content, offensive or of any nature that does not pertain to the event visually, verbally, or in written content. If removed from the event, you will not receive a refund of any kind.

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Pre-Order Now Badge
Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538705001
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 18th, 2021

This inspirational memoir serves as a call to action from prison reform activist Yusef Salaam, of the Exonerated Five, that will inspire us all to turn our stories into tools for change in the pursuit of racial justice.

They didn't know who they had.

So begins Yusef Salaam telling his story.

SKU: DN00000001

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