Ameer Baraka, the New Orleans-born actor and activist who co-starred on Fox’s hit, American Horror Story, HBO’s Treme, and Oprah Winfrey’s Black Board Wars, embarks on a national campaign to change young people’s lives with his autobiographical, The Life I Chose. Baraka’s book, hailed by critics as a scintillating page turner and an absolute must read, chronicles his transformation from a wayward, illiterate juvenile delinquent wreaking havoc in New Orleans most crime-infested ghettos and housing projects, to a celebrated author, motivational speaker, and one of New Orleans’ most celebrated and sought-after citizens.

Baraka uses the book as a teaching tool to show readers how he overcame having been incarcerated as a youth, diagnosed with dyslexia, raised in an impoverished single-parent household, inducted into a vicious street gang, and introduced to drug use by his own absentee father who would later spend decades behind bars. His no-holds-barred account of bypassing adolescence and being forced from childhood directly into adulthood without mentoring or parental guidance is an homage to perseverance and self determination if ever there was one.

“This should be required reading for every kid in America who is unsure of him or herself. It’s a panacea for all societal ills and an antidote for recidivism.” noted the Director of the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Program.

Baraka also used his personal experience to write and direct a dramatic series called “N.O.L.A Life” with Daniel R. Garcia of New Kingdom Pictures. Described as one of “the truest, grittiest, most realistic depiction of New Orleans life and culture ever rendered to film,” “N.O.L.A. Life” is a new web series premiering on Vimeo:
Baraka will appear in all media in support of the book and is currently on a national speaking tour that includes churches and other houses of worship throughout the U.S. The book is available for purchase at Speaking and interview requests may be sent to

About Ameer Baraka:
Ameer Baraka has achieved acclaim on the small screen in HBO’s Treme, set in his native New Orleans, and on the big screen alongside Academy Award Winner, Forrest Whitaker in My Own Love Song. His incredible story of ascendancy from juvenile delinquency to prominence has inspired the likes of Oprah Winfrey to feature him on her “Blackboard Wars” program for his devotion to the mentoring of at-risk youth. Further biographical information about him can be found at