Shaka Senghor on the Hardest Part About Returning from Prison

Season 4 Episode 420
Aired on 11/11/2017 | CC
For Shaka Senghor, spending 19 years in prison for second-degree murder became an opportunity to reflect on his life and break the patterns that lured him into a life of drug dealing and violence as a teen. He managed to turn his life around while behind bars, eventually finding his place in society as a criminal justice activist and author. However, even though Shaka was ready and willing to make powerful changes in his life, that didn't mean society was ready to receive him upon his release.

"When I came home, I thought it was going to be easy for people to see that I wanted to do the right thing and that people would give me an opportunity," he says. "That didn't happen. And it's the hardest thing I've had to do."

Here, Shaka shares his story with four other recently released men—all of whom, like him, served time for murder convictions—in hopes that his example will inspire them to be more honest with themselves as they move forward in their work with Iyanla.

Part 2 of this episode airs Saturday, November 18, at 9/8c.