Author’s Corner: She’s All Caught Up

by: AFRO Staff
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ShesCaughtUpFrt001Title: She’s All Caught Up!

Author: Jamila T. Davis

Release Date: 08/26/14

Jamila T. Davis, born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York is a motivational speaker, prison reform activist and the author of several books geared to empower women. Through her powerful delivery, Davis illustrates the real-life consequences that result from poor choices.

Davis, a former real estate investor, is no stranger to triumphs and defeats. From a self-made millionaire at age 25, Davis’s life took a tragic twist. Today she’s known as federal prisoner #59253-053, sentenced to  12 1/2 years for bank fraud.

From behind bars, Davis embarked on an intense journey of healing and restoration. Documenting her findings, she created the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series, which has helped to transform the lives of female offenders across the country. Her message of hope transcends to women of all backgrounds: “You don’t have to let your past dictate your future. Success is a matter of choice!”

What was the impetus for writing this book? 

On July 16, 2008, I was sentenced to a 12 1/2 year sentence for bank fraud. Never in a million years did I think my life would take such a tragic twist. Instantly, I was forced to adjust. I had to make every effort to understand the purpose of my pain and survive. Trying to make the best out of my time, I participated in a prison public speaking group created to warn at-risk youth about the severe consequences of poor choices. Watching the most rebellious teens vow to deter from crime after hearing my story inspired me to pen my book, “She’s All Caught Up,” because I realized I could make a difference!

What surprised you about the development of the book?

Writing my book forced me to deal with the reality of my situation. It made me focus on subtle moments, key experiences and people who had a great influence on the warped mentality that I had developed. It surprised me most to see how powerful influences are to young children. I developed an esteem for certain individuals at a very young age that no one could break. Even though my parents tried their best to rear me up on a straight path and I followed them for a while, when the opportunity arose I reverted back to the influences I idolized as a young child. I was completely mesmerized by hustlers and the fast life, and eventually it became my lifestyle.

For what audience is your book written?

My book is written as a cautionary tale for youth, but people of all ages can relate. Many adults who’ve read my book told me it made them reflect on their own lives, and it helped them recognize the common pitfalls their children may fall prey to.

“She’s All Caught Up” is a must read for every little girl who ever thought she was not good enough or pretty enough, whether young or old. I believe it is an eye opener that will help readers clearly see how jumbled up our lives can become when we live to gain the esteem or acceptance of others.

What one thing do you want the reader to learn?

I want my readers to learn to love themselves, be themselves and know its okay to be by themselves. The best thing a person can gain is self-confidence. When you know who you are, and whose you are, that’s true beauty that radiates from the inside out.

Trying to figure out your self-worth based on the perception others may have of you is a certain way to follow the path of unhappiness and self-destruction.

What one thing do you want the reader to remember forever?

Every negative choice we make in life comes with a consequence. Sometimes the price we are forced to pay is severe! Therefore, be mindful of the choices you make. Live for today, but keep tomorrow in mind!

What did you learn during the writing process?

Through the writing process I learned to let go of shame and guilt. Instead of worrying about what others think of my mistakes and my most embracing moments, I allowed myself to be vulnerable, which opened the door to true inner healing. Writing this book changed my life because it forced me to truthfully acknowledge my faults, learn from my mistakes and let the past go!

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Jamila T. Davis

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I created the “Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series” for incarcerated women. It is a three book nondenominational, faith-based series to empower incarcerated women to heal, recognize their potential and recapture their dreams. Spending years behind bars I have been in a unique situation to really see the powerful strongholds that have hindered many women such as myself. I utilized my own path of self-discovery and inner healing, and documented my findings to help women who truly desire to change. (See www.vocseries.com)

I also created “The High Price I Had To Pay” Book Series to give incarcerated women a platform to tell their stories. Each volume reveals the life of a different woman serving decade plus sentences for nonviolent crimes. It was important to me to utilize this book series to educate the public to the real faces and stories of women behind bars in federal prison, and to expose the injustices many of us have encountered within the U.S. judicial system.

Often times people say to God, “use me.” But, when the opportunity comes to be a vessel, they get frightened and back off. Through my most painful experience in life, which has been my six years of incarceration, I have completely surrendered to God, and He has used me mightily to help many others in need. He has imparted gifts within me that I didn’t even know I possessed. Through this dark path that I have traveled, He has led me every step of the way and has empowered me to do things that I never imagined I could do. My work behind bars has given my life purpose and has made the pain of my experience bearable. I look forward to gaining back my freedom and living each day of my life happy, prosperous and most importantly on purpose!

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