I got my hands on this book when I was a Sophomore or Junior in High School. My best friend at the time gave me a copy from his mother’s collection. I had no idea that I was being pushed into the peak of my awaking. This book opened my mind on so many levels. I tell people that this was the book that made me understand the meaning of “struggle”. Assata Shakur broke it ALL THE WAY DOWN in her autobiography. When someone struggles to learn or do something, that’s a great sign. “Struggle” is a sign of fight. When you struggle to do something, you are fighting. You are determined. Fighting isn’t always a physical or verbal confrontation. High school for me, like so many others, was a hard time in my life to go through. It was her world and perspective on life that kept me from submitting to some of the daily pressures that I was faced with when I was in school. I received that message at the right time in my life. In reading this book, I got a different point of view on politics, equality, justice, and government. I also got to see how corrupt America really is. Plain and simple, why are we placing a bounty on an innocent woman’s head?
I dare to say what a lot of the “conscious class” is aware of but wont speak. I remember reading the first page of the book where she opened up describing what felt like an explosion going off in her arm. She had just gotten shot. Mind you medical evidence later supported that she was shot in the back with both of her hands up… She was describing the infamous scene that got her convicted. The setting was on the New Jersey turnpike. Assata Shakur along with Zayd Malik Shakur, and Sundiata Acoli were all stopped by two state troopers. The press reported it as a shootout that happened that day, but I remember reading in her words how she and her comrades were unarmed. Two people died that day: Zayd Shakur and New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. What leads me to believe in her innocence was the events surrounding her life leading up to that fateful day.
The government was recording her phone conversations way before people ever even heard of a wire tap. Not to mention, the formation of America’s COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) was created by J. Edgar Hoover. Everyone knows what kind of man Hoover was, lets be real. Hatred for black life oozed out of this man’s soul. He designed the program strictly to take out “radical” black liberation groups and individuals. The COINTELPRO is the reason why the Black Panther Party was dismantled the way that they were. The Black Panthers were not a violent militia out to kill all of white America as they were painted out to be. The Black Panther Party wanted fair and equal right for black people. Ultimately, they were a political threat. Everything is all good and dandy until you start messing with politics. Their ten-point system proves the kind of people that they were. However, the Black Panther Party was not a submissive group. They fought fire with fire when necessary. In addition to improving the community, they concentrated on the black family unit. They always had tutoring programs, assistance programs, and self defense programs to name a few. They simply wanted a better Black America. Can you really fault the panthers for that? America was just coming out of slavery and Jim Crow was in full affect.
It is key figures like J. Edgar Hoover (The first director of the FBI) and Mayor Frank Rizzo (Philadelphia) that played a major role in the demise of a lot of our black ex political prisoners. Don’t believe me? Reexamine the cases of: Mumia Abu Jamal, Assata Shakur and Sundiata Acoli, The Move-9, and Jamil Abdullah Alamin. These names are just scratching the surface of the truth. In each of these cases, there was room where police could have went in to get more evidence. However, collecting that extra evidence would have cleared all of these people’s names. In Mumia Abu Jamal’s case, there are findings that the bullet that shot and killed Officer Daniel Faulkner couldn’t have possibly came from the direction that Mumia was faced in. In recent years, the question of whether or not if his gun was the actual murder weapon is coming into play. There have also been questions of the authenticity of the “witnesses” testimony. The streets are saying that the three witnesses were paid. Lack of evidence is not the only thing that raises a brow. In each case, these people were ultimately convicted because a cop was killed. Everyone knows that if you even think of killing a police officer or any other kind of official, you’re automatically going under the jail before they even decide whether or not to let you live first. What makes it so bad is, it seems like nearly all of these cases were sloppy inside jobs. This group of people were considered a huge threat because they possessed two things that scared the hell out of white supremacists everywhere: Power and influence.
Assata Shakur is a symbol for power and hope. In the end result, she fought and struggled for her freedom. She defied all odds and beat the system while in it. I bet that that’s the part that pisses off our government more than anything. Rightfully so, she pimped the system. She now resides somewhere in Cuba, enjoying life at the age of 65. She was granted political asylum in Cuba by Fidel Castro in 1984. To read her story in her own words will open your eyes. If you do not have a copy of her autobiography, I suggest you order one online. This book was created to change and save lives. She wrote this book shortly after she arrived in Cuba. She didn’t go into her escape at all. She was careful to to rat anyone out who was involved in her exodus. Details and developments later came out after numerous investigations. Mutulu Shakur (Tupac’s Stepdad) was ultimately charged for his involvement in helping her escape to freedom.
I have mixed emotions about what’s going on with Assata Shakur and our US government Since Assata Shakur has fled America our government has unjustly put a million dollar bounty on her head. Her name has come up even more in the news recently because the government decided to add another million dollars to the bounty in addition to putting her on the FBI terrorist list. This is good and bad for several reasons. It’s good because, the younger generation who are curious will take to Google and want to know who this woman is. All we need now is for Rick Ross or Lil Wayne to drop her name RESPECTFULLY in song and a revolution just may be started in her name. Don’t shoot me for dreaming big…
For some reason, all of a sudden, the government is even more interested in bringing her back to the states to serve time for a crime that she allegedly committed. My question is, why now? Mind you May 2, 2013 made 40years since the crime happened. What is this a distraction from? Instead of talking about Assata Shakur, why isn’t the news talking about what’s really killing America’s civilization: GMO foods, Chem-trails, Prison culture, the voting system, The hokes known as “currency” etc. Labeling this queen as a terrorist is absurd. If you drop a piece of gum on an airplane these days, you are considered a terrorist. I want to know what is the real reason for giving her this label. Are they using this situation as a pawn to get to Fidel Castro. That’s not too far fetched when you look at politics these days. Why does the American government want a 65 year old innocent woman this badly?
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