Self-acclaimed, and nationally recognized, author and activist Yusef Shakur is the embodiment of transformation and a revolutionary at heart. Growing up in a single-parent household plagued by alcohol and physical abuse, Yusef would look for greater meaning in his life. At a young age, he started soldiering as a thug in his neighborhood, and when he turned thirteen, co-founded one of Detroit’s most notorious street gangs: Zone 8. Yusef struggled as a misguided youth, eventually being charged with a crime that he did not commit. Despite a nine year sentence, Yusef used this experience as an opportunity for personal growth. While incarcerated, Yusef met the father he never knew, who helped him begin his transformation from a Zone 8 thug to a father & freedom fighter.
Since his release, Yusef has returned to Detroit and, especially, the Zone 8 neighborhood, as a father, community organizer/activist, former Head Start teacher, youth mentor, business owner, author, motivational speaker, and college graduate. His self-published political memoir The Window 2 My Soul (compared to the Autobiography of Malcolm X) was one of many steps Yusef has taken to reach out and begin recreating society and our communities anew. In the wake of the publication, he opened Urban Network Bookstore and Urban Guerrilla Entertainment in January 2009, a DIY/community model business designed to help empower individuals to consider and acheive their dreams as entrepreneurs and creative artists in the face of corporate and circumstantial challenges as well as provide a community forum to engage in education and entertainment.
This fall, Yusef is starting plans to develop a community garden in spring 2010 and is beginning plans to found a non-profit organization geared towards youth outreach. Ultimately, Yusef is committed and determined to make a positive impact in the lives of the downtrodden and disenfranchised.
If you would like to contact Yusef for a book signing, speaking engagement, or simply to encourage the good brother, please call: 313-459-6008, email: email@example.com, send a message on the contact page, or come to the bookstore (located at 5740 Grand River, just south of McGraw). We look forward to seeing and hearing from you.