Her reporting focuses education, race, and public policy. An activist in black radical groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Shakur was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper in , but supporters helped her escape prison and take refuge in Cuba. US fugitive in Cuba. Johnson, and her grandparents Lula and Frank Hill.
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Her reporting focuses education, race, and public policy. An activist in black radical groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Shakur was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper in , but supporters helped her escape prison and take refuge in Cuba. US fugitive in Cuba.
Johnson, and her grandparents Lula and Frank Hill. After her parents divorced, she split time living with her mother who later remarried in New York and her grandparents who settled in Wilmington, N.
Shakur grew up in the s, when Jim Crow , or racial segregation, was the law of the land in the South. Whites and blacks drank from separate water fountains, attended separate schools and churches, and sat in different parts of buses, trains, and restaurants. She struggled to inhabit the role of a model Black child , even as teachers and students reinforced a message of the superiority of white culture.
As Shakur progressed through elementary and middle school, the differences between Black and white, rich and poor became more pronounced. In her autobiography, Shakur describes herself as an intelligent, curious, but somewhat troubled child.
Because she often ran away from home, she ended up in the care of her aunt Evelyn A. Eventually, she met some African students at a bar and had conversations with them about the state of the world, including the Vietnam War. The discussion about Vietnam marked a turning point for Shakur , she said. The year was Only a fool lets somebody else tell him who his enemy is. As a college student during the turbulent mids, Shakur joined black activist group the Golden Drums and took part in a variety of rallies, sit-ins, and the fight for ethnic studies programs that swept the nation.
Through her activism, Shakur meet her husband, Louis Chesimard, also a student-activist. They would divorce in To further embrace her African heritage, Shakur, like many other African-Americans in the s, stopped straightening her hair and grew it out into an Afro. While the guns they carried made a number of news headlines, the group took concrete, positive actions to help the Black community, such as establishing a free breakfast program to feed low-income children.
They also advocated for victims of police brutality. She also questioned its leaders, like Huey P. Newton, and their lack of self-criticism and reflection. I would look out my window and there, in the middle of Harlem, in front of my house, would be two white men sitting and reading the newspaper.
I was scared to death to talk in my own house. When I wanted to say something that was not public information I turned the record player up real loud so that the buggers would have a hard time hearing. She faced charges related to bank robbery and an armed robbery in which she was shot. She also faced charges related to the murder of a drug dealer and the attempted murder of a policeman.
Each time, the cases were thrown out or Shakur was not found guilty. But that would change. Mug Shot of Assata Shakur. Another trooper, Werner Foerster, followed in a different patrol car. During the stop, gunfire was exchanged. Shakur was later charged with the murder of Foerster and spent several years incarcerated before her trial. Shakur said she was terribly treated while imprisoned. Her medical predicament was also an issue, as she became pregnant with the child of fellow inmate and BLA member Kamau Sadiki.
In , she gave birth to a daughter, Kakuya, behind bars. She was convicted of murder and several assault charges and sentenced to life in prison. Her supporters claimed the trial was deeply unfair. Two years after her murder conviction, BLA members and other activists posed as visitors to the prison and broke Shakur out. She lived underground for several years, eventually fleeing to Cuba in Legacy As a fugitive, Shakur continues to make headlines.
Chris Christie have demanded that Cuba release her. The country has refused. As godmother to the late rapper Tupac Shakur, Shakur is a particular inspiration to hip-hop artists.
Start your review of Assata: An Autobiography Write a review Shelves: favorites , own , african-american This was a brilliant autobiography about an amazing and resilient woman. Ive heard Assata Shakurs name several times over the years but I knew next to nothing about her. It was only when earlier on this year her name resurfaced when she became the only woman on the FBIs most wanted list that I decided to read the book to learn what all the brouhaha was about. This is one of the most riveting books I have ever read.
Biography of Assata Shakur
Sources Assata Shakur , formerly JoAnne Deborah Chesimard, has attained near-mythical status in the eyes of some observers. To the U. Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI , the one-time leader of the Black Liberation Army BLA —considered to be possibly the most violent militant black organization of the s—is an armed robber, a cop-killer, and an extremely dangerous escaped criminal now living in political asylum in Cuba. To her supporters, she is a woman of vision, courage, and action who has never received true justice. By her own description, she is a black revolutionary. Frustrated and resentful over the lack of progress made by black organizations through peaceful means, groups such as the Black Panthers and the more radical Black Liberation Army became committed to the idea that violence would force the establishment to respond to the plight of black Americans.
Assata: An Autobiography