Cyntoia Brown Releases Debut Book Cover, Says She's 'Loving Every Single Thing' About Her Freedom

Illustration for article titled Cyntoia Brown Releases Debut Book Cover, Says She's 'Loving Every Single Thing' About Her Freedom
Image: Atria Books

Two weeks after her release from prison, Cyntoia Brown is sharing what’s she’s been enjoying the most about her freedom: the simple things.


In an exclusive statement to NBC News, Brown-Long (shortly after being granted clemency, she married singer Jamie “J.” Long of the group Pretty Ricky), said she’s been relishing being able to get a manicure or running out to the store to pick up cooking supplies.

“Being able to cook for myself and decide how I want to spend my day feels amazing,” Brown-Long said. “Those simple pleasures that people take for granted are what I looked forward to when I sat in prison dreaming of freedom.”

Brown-Long, 31, was imprisoned at the age of 16 for shooting and killing Johnny Mitchell Allen in 2004. A victim of child sex-trafficking, Allen paid Brown-Long for sex. According to NBC, Brown-Long says she shot Allen out of self-defense, fearing for her life “when she saw him reaching for what she believed was a gun while they were in bed at his home.”

Thanks to criminal justice advocates and a 2011 documentary, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, Brown-Long’s case began gaining nationwide attention, with many—including high-profile celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian—calling for her release.

While former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted Brown-Long clemency before leaving office earlier this year, she wasn’t released until Aug. 7. Brown-Long will soon get to tell her side of the story at length. Her memoir, Free Cyntoia, which focuses on her time in prison, is slated for a fall publishing date. Images of the cover were released this week.

“Every day I find myself thanking God for yet another experience I haven’t had my whole adult life,” Brown-Long said in the statement to NBC News. She highlighted the night of her release, which she celebrated with friends, family, “everyone who’d made a difference in my life over the last 15 years.”


“I wasn’t presenting myself as a 16-year-old heading to prison and needing help. I was a grown woman with my calling from God,” she said. “This was my coming out party.”

Staff writer, The Root.



Lord bless her. I'm praying for her.