Forsyth County Public Library will host speaker and prison reform advocate Yusef Salaam

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Forsyth County Public Library will host Yusef Salaam, author of “Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice” on Sunday, Sept. 26, at 4 p.m.

Salaam is a speaker and prison reform advocate, who was one of five teenagers who was wrongly convicted of the 1989 rape and beating of a woman who became known as the Central Park Jogger.

Salaam entered prison at the at of 14 and served seven years. In 2002, the sentences for the Central Park Five, as Salaam and the other convicted teenagers were known, were overturned. All five men were exonerated after another man confessed to the crime.

Library Director Brian Hart will talk with Salaam about his memoir, “Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice” as part of the Bookmarks Festival closing events. The event is free, but registration is required.

The memoir tells of Salaam’s life before his arrest, his years of incarceration and his reentry and exoneration.

“’Better Not Bitter’” is equal parts a luminous journey of awakening, and an indictment of a system that swallows boys and girls whole, only to spit out their broken bones. It is an urgent and poetic treatise on the human spirit’s ability to make itself whole again, over and over,” said Shaka Senghor, a New York Times bestselling author.

For more information, call Mary Giunca, public information officer, at 336-703-3019