Al-Saadiq Banks was born in the seventies, a product of a troubled marriage. At the age of 5 his parents separated, leaving his mother to raise him singlehandedly. He was an introvert who spent most of his spare time sketching cartoon characters. Academically he excelled way above the average, receiving honors in every subject with math being his favorite.
By the age of 8 he was introduced to boxing. What started off as him being dragged to the gym by his uncle while he babysat him, turned into a passion. He picked up on the fundamentals of the game quickly. What he loved most about the game was the fact that it gave him an outlet to pound away the frustrations that he had been living with during his early years of life. As talented as he was he never took boxing serious. He would pop in and out of the gym every year or so.
Al-Saadiq’s love for art led him to a high school for the gifted where he attended as an art major. Shortly after graduation he enrolled in a college where he majored in Electronic Engineering. It was during that time period that his life took a turn for the worse. The lack of funding led him down a road he never saw as a part of his future. He was faced with the decision of dropping out of college due to lack of tuition money or to do what he had to do to further his education. He chose the latter. Al-Saadiq attended college in the morning while hustling crack on the cold and wicked streets at night. Years later he graduated from college with a 3.4 GPA and obtained his degree.
The praise and honors he received in school were nothing compared to the adulation he received on the street. By this time the success he had from the street overshadowed his success in school as well as the boxing ring. He was caught up. He packed his college degree on the same shelf closet as his boxing gloves and trophies, never looking back. Finally a few years later he comes to his senses and realizes that he no longer wishes to live that lifestyle. For the first time ever he looked at boxing as a ticket out of the game. He enrolled in a local gym and coincidentally the Golden Gloves tournament was being held in three months. After two and a half months of training Al-Saadiq was faced with the unexpected.
He was gunned down on a Newark street. That injury kept him out of the gym for months but it didn’t keep him off the streets. His dream of boxing was deferred as he lived out his dreams on the street. One year later the exact same month he was gunned down again. For many years the tug of war of good boy-bad boy conflicted and he had finally had enough of it. He was fed up with the game and the lifestyle. The only problem was with the amount of income he had gotten used to earning he couldn’t imagine giving it all up to and live life as a typical nine-to-fiver struggling to make ends meet. That alone kept him in the game.
Once again he steps foot back into the gym and in three months the Golden Gloves comes around again. He registers into the tournament and in a matter of weeks he’s awarded the State Golden Glove Champion title. As promising as his career may have looked to others it was still quite blurry to him.
A few years later his life is altered tremendously. The birth of his daughter not only changed his perspective on life but it changed him as a man. With a daughter to care for in the world he began to fear the results of what she would become if by chance he was taken out of her life by his death on the street or being incarcerated for life.
That fear caused him to confine himself to his home for six months. He contemplated on what it is that he would do with the rest of his life but he had not a clue. Then one day out of boredom he begins to jot down events that have taken place in his life. Six months later he has three books written.
Never once did he consider publishing the books. He just looked at them as a way to vent and clear his mind of things that he had seen and experienced in his life. After allowing the closest people to him to read them, they all encouraged him to publish them. In 2002 his first title No Exit was published.
To date Al-Saadiq Banks has written and published nine novels. He’s the co-founder of True 2 Life Publications. True 2 Life has just ventured into the world of comics, as Al-Saadiq Banks transforms his fiction based novels into graphic novels and comic books.
In his spare time he’s a boxing instructor and mentor to troubled youth. He cherishes every opportunity that he’s granted to reach out to not just the youth, but even adults who may be going through the tug of war that he went through in life. He’s a motivational speaker, who plans to take his show on the road and speak on a national level.