Malik Wade has told his heart-wrenching story before.
Now, as he releases the book that represents decades of effort to understand his own dramatic life path, the inner peace he has achieved is another story worth sharing. Wade’s book, Pressure: From FBI Fugitive to Freedom, details his transformation from high school athlete to drug trafficker, from fugitive to prisoner, and finally his return to his old neighborhood in San Francisco to mentor boys and young men who are trying to stay free from the prison industrial complex themselves.
The name Pressure felt like a perfect fit to Malik…the weight of environmental struggles growing up, the messages from society pushing him to fulfill stereotypes…he’s felt the pressure on his existence for as long as he can remember.
Fortunately now he’s found a way to relieve some of the pressure. As he explained in a recent interview with Subversal (and also detailed in this video from OZY), meditation has become more than a daily practice, and it’s given him a whole new peace of mind. That combined with the process of completing his memoir has taken him to a calmer place.
Writing the book did bring about a certain amount of closure… Pressure epitomized my life. Being a black man, there’s pressure. Selling drugs, there’s pressure. Being a fugitive on the FBI’s wanted list for seven years is pressure. Going to prison is pressure. And reintegrating back into society after such a prolonged stay.
But I believe education and enlightenment can alleviate some of the pressure. Trying to understand another human being’s plight or their perspective, I think that can alleviate some pressure. And I believe sometimes we have to just RELAX. I’m working on that myself now, trying to learn how to relax. I meditate four times day, every day.
Indeed, truly understanding the perspective of another can be a meditation in and of itself, and Pressure allows its reader to do just that. Malik Wade is a unique individual, and yet not the only person of his caliber to have a life path dramatically altered by crimes of poverty and the US prison system. The story told in Pressure is one that happens far too often, and Malik has dedicated his free life to making sure it happens a few hundred times less in his hometown. Get Pressure: From FBI Fugitive to Freedom by Malik Wade now.