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You can’t judge a book by its cover.

Even so, we do it all the time: we see someone’s outside and think we know what’s inside. We base it on his looks, or his youthful indiscretions—things, as in the new book “Writing My Wrongs” by Shaka Senghor, that he may deeply regret.

Little James White wanted to be a doctor when he grew up.

Enveloped by the love of his parents, he was secure in the idea that he could maintain his honors status and do good for people in his Detroit community. But then his parents split, reconciled, and split again; his mother took her frustrations out on him and she kicked him out of her house.

Jay was just “a little boy” of 14 then, but it didn’t take long for someone to offer him a job selling cocaine at $5 a “rock.” He started earning big money, wearing cool clothes, getting girls, smoking crack.

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