At Thrive DC, we strive to promote awareness around issues that our programs and services seek to address. Here is the first in a series of suggested publications that I hope you will find to be an informative and absorbing book to read.

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence – full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon – transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

My thoughts:

There’s nothing this book doesn’t cover. It covers the faults in our criminal justice system, it covers systemic racism in America, it covers grief, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and how to keep on going even when there’s nothing left. Anthony Ray Hinton tells a story full of injustice, but he does so with positivity and hopefulness. There’s so much to learn from Hinton’s story and it’s a book that can truly alter your perspective and outlook on life. Let us know if you read it! We hope you do.

Buy it here!