MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s not everyday someone serving a life sentence in prison is released with the help of celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and others on social media, but that’s the story of Cyntoia Brown-Long.
It’s a story that shows the power of social media, good or bad, that worked in her favor.
When she was 16 years old, Brown-Long was arrested for robbing and killing a man she says picked her up for sex and was later sentenced to life in prison. After successfully petitioning Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam for clemency, she walked out of prison two months ago as a free woman.
Before many knew Brown-Long’s story, they knew #FreeCyntoiaBrown. Her freedom was championed on social media by celebrities as a symbol of unfair sentencing.
“Social media is a powerful tool when used for positive reason, and I think it is important that we have conversation about justice,” she said.
Now, Brown-Long is married and is telling her story in a new book called “Free Cyntoia.” On Tuesday, she was the keynote speaker at the MLK Day reflection breakfast at Auburn University at Montgomery.
“No matter what you are going through, you can overcome it.,” Brown-Long said. “The Lord can bring you out of the lowest places.”
Brown-Long said it’s important for people to know that when they talk about her and what she went through, her experience is very similar to others who will never have a platform or seen by the public.
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