Inner City Miracle
by Greg Mathis
Publication Date: Oct 01, 2002
List Price: $24.95 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 208
Imprint: One World/Ballantine
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
Millions have seen him on his nationwide TV show, dispensing justice in his own charismatic style. But Judge Greg Mathis’s own rise to success has been a trial by fire. In this truly candid memoir, his harrowing life on both sides of the law is revealed for the first time.
It starts in Detroit—but far from the court where Greg would one day preside. Raised in the hell of the Herman Garden Projects, he grows to become a “bad-ass, cool-dressing, do-anything gangsta.” His father gone, his mother juggling two jobs, he falls in with the Errol Flynns—“funkified English gentlemen” in three-piece suits and Borsalino hats, urban Robin Hoods who are truly stylish as they steal from everyone and give to themselves.
Considered bright but incorrigible, Greg is sent to stay in his middle-class cousin’s mixed neighborhood, where he enlists the local white youth in wrongdoing. Even jail can’t keep him from going bad again once he gets out. Then a threat to his beloved mother causes a shaken Greg to make a promise in a prayer to God: save my mother and I will straighten up.
To his and everyone else’s surprise, he keeps his side of the bargain. Inspired by The Autobiography of Malcolm X, working at McDonald’s by day and attending classes by night, Greg pulls himself through high school and college and then law school, using in positive ways the innate intelligence that made him a master at crime. Soon he becomes the youngest judge in Michigan history, a District Court judge and, at last, undaunted by the odds and propelled by his personal story, a sought-after and highly paid TV star.
In its blunt, bold, and sometimes hair-raising honesty, Inner City Miracle is both a cautionary and an inspiring story, one sure to stun all those who come to Judge Mathis’s TV courtroom every day.
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