What Set Me Free (the Story That Inspired The Major Motion Picture Brian Banks): A True Story Of Wrongful Conviction, A Dream Deferred, And A Man Redeemed

What Set Me Free (the Story That Inspired The Major Motion Picture Brian Banks): A True Story Of Wrongful Conviction, A Dream Deferred, And A Man Redeemed


Discover the unforgettable and inspiring true story—that inspired the major motion picture Brian Banks—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 seventeenth 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 forty-one 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.


  • 001 WhatSetMeFree Open AuthorsNote
    Duration: 01min
  • 002 WhatSetMeFree Ch1 JustATaste
    Duration: 14min
  • 003 WhatSetMeFree Ch2 HittingTheSpot
    Duration: 21min
  • 004 WhatSetMeFree Ch3 Accused
    Duration: 17min
  • 005 WhatSetMeFree Ch4 Caged
    Duration: 25min
  • 006 WhatSetMeFree Ch5 Tormented
    Duration: 27min
  • 007 WhatSetMeFree Ch6 NoEmpathyNoRemorse
    Duration: 34min
  • 008 WhatSetMeFree Ch7 InTheCave
    Duration: 14min
  • 009 WhatSetMeFree Ch8 Time
    Duration: 19min
  • 010 WhatSetMeFree Ch9 StepByStep
    Duration: 17min
  • 011 WhatSetMeFree Ch10 NinetyDays
    Duration: 22min
  • 012 WhatSetMeFree Ch11 OfMiceAndMen
    Duration: 30min
  • 013 WhatSetMeFree Ch12 ThoughtsAndPrayers
    Duration: 15min
  • 014 WhatSetMeFree Ch13 SeeingStars
    Duration: 27min
  • 015 WhatSetMeFree Ch14 Truth
    Duration: 23min
  • 016 WhatSetMeFree Ch15 Countdown
    Duration: 17min
  • 017 WhatSetMeFree Ch16 Transition
    Duration: 20min
  • 018 WhatSetMeFree Ch17 ChainChainChain
    Duration: 18min
  • 019 WhatSetMeFree Ch18 Contact
    Duration: 20min
  • 020 WhatSetMeFree Ch19 HopeAndHarassment
    Duration: 29min
  • 021 WhatSetMeFree Ch20 TheDay
    Duration: 21min
  • 022 WhatSetMeFree Ch21 BackInTheGame
    Duration: 36min
  • 023 WhatSetMeFree Afterword ClosingArguments
    Duration: 14min
  • 024 WhatSetMeFree Acknowledgements
    Duration: 53s
  • 025 WhatSetMeFree Close
    Duration: 01min