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What Set Me Free

(The Story That Inspired the Major Motion Picture Brian Banks)
Narrated by: Brian Banks
Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

*The story that inspired the film Brian Banks*

Discover the unforgettable and inspiring true story of a young man who was wrongfully convicted as a teenager and imprisoned for more than five years, only to emerge with his spirit unbroken and determined to achieve his dream of playing in the NFL.

At age sixteen, Brian Banks was a nationally recruited All-American Football player, ranked eleventh in the nation as a linebacker. Before his 17th birthday, he was in jail, awaiting trial for a heinous crime he did not commit.

Although Brian was innocent, his attorney advised him that as a young black man accused of rape, he stood no chance of winning his case at trial. Especially since he would be tried as an adult. Facing a possible sentence of 41 years to life, Brian agreed to take a plea deal - and a judge sentenced him to six years in prison. 

At first, Brian was filled with fear, rage, and anger as he reflected on the direction his life had turned and the unjust system that had imprisoned him. Brian was surrounded by darkness, until he had epiphany that would change his life forever. From that moment on, he made the choice to shed the bitterness and anger he felt, and focus only on the things he had the power to control. He approached his remaining years in prison with a newfound resolve, studying spirituality, improving his social and writing skills, and taking giant leaps on his journey toward enlightenment. 

When Brian emerged from prison with five years of parole still in front of him, he was determined to rebuild his life and finally prove his innocence. Three months before his parole was set to expire, armed with a shocking recantation from his accuser and the help of the California Innocence Project, the truth about his unjust incarceration came out and he was exonerated. Finally free, Brian sought to recapture a dream once stripped away: to play for the NFL. And at age twenty-eight, he made that dream come true. 

Perfect for fans of Just Mercy, I Beat the Odds, and Infinite Hope, this powerful memoir is a deep dive into the injustices of the American justice system, a soul-stirring celebration of the resilience of the human spirit, and an inspiring call to hold fast to our dreams. 

©2019 Brian Banks (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

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Profile Image for Michelle Singleton
  • Michelle Singleton
  • 14-01-20

Redemption is possible

Every person in America who has a relative in America needs to read this book. Because only by the grace of God we have not been caught up in the system. This can happen to anyone especially any minority living in America. This book also gives us hope that even in tribulation there can be a bright side; we cannot be in the situation And see the situation. We must find peace.

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  • Rodney L Hastt
  • 08-08-19

Enlightening!

Inspiring and enlightening. I loved it. I teared up a few times . The story was very telling of the justice system . A lot of it ,I didn't know about. I know more because of this book and it inspired me learn and do more. Great book!!!

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  • Michael Ladge
  • 01-08-19

Amazing story telling

I just saw the movie which was great. It does not do justice to how good this book really is. The detail is fantastic and you get to live this journey with Brian as he did. I found myself extremely mad and happy during this journey. This is a must read book for everybody.

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  • Trent Harrison
  • 14-09-20

Amazing

Mr. Banks is an amazing human, this book was addictive. I'm in awe of his ability to maintain emotions and overcome the insanity of it all. I think we all need a Mr. Johnson and a Mr. Banks in life.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-06-20

Powerful and thought provoking

A powerful and thought provoking account. Mad me want to dig deeper into our justice system and how to drive some changes.

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  • Scott P Brown
  • 18-06-20

Powerful Stuff

Thank you to Brian Banks for sharing his story of injustice within our supposed justice system. America should not be satisfied with even one innocent person convicted unjustly.

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  • melba soliz
  • 18-05-20

What a story

This is an amazing book of true freedom forgiveness and are just system and how injustices are seen every day. A must-read!

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  • James ellis
  • 12-12-19

inspiring

this book was incredible the strength a d determination was truly amazing I thuraly enjoyed this book definitely moving and inspirational

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  • Justin A. Thompson
  • 09-11-19

Sad But Very True

I have been following this story for years now and finally being able to read the book, I have not seen the movie yet, but keep one thing in mind when you’re done reading this book and I totally recommend you do. But the American justice system is by far one of the best in the world, nothing will ever be perfect, could there be some improvements to the system?? You bet, and since the American justice system has been going it has improved year after year, slowly improved but it absolutely has gotten better and better over the years. And sure false convictions do happen, I would bet there super rare, I could almost guarantee you that 99 out of 100 people in jail or prison did something to deserve being sent there. I am beyond happy for Mr. Banks. Good luck to you sir.

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  • David M
  • 20-10-19

Great book.

It’s sad but ends happy. Really his false accuser is a total dirtbag. Brian Banks over comes great odds just to survive.