“No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that the knowledge will help set you free.” - Assata Shakur
Angela Davis and Assata Shakur’s Lawyer Lennox Hinds Denounce FBI’s Adding of Exiled Activist to Terrorist List
Davis: “It seems to me that this act incorporates or reflects the very logic of terrorism.[…] I can’t help but think that it’s designed to frighten people who are involved in struggles today. Forty years ago seems like it was a long time ago. In the beginning of the 21st century, we’re still fighting around the very same issues – police violence, health care, education, people in prison.”
Hinds: “We believe that putting Assata Shakur on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted list is designed to inflame the public and to characterize her as a terrorist when none of the acts alleged relates to terrorism.” […] “This is a political act pushed by the state of New Jersey, by some members of Congress from Miami, and with the intent of putting pressure on the Cuban government and to inflame public opinion […]There is no way to appeal someone being put on the terrorist list.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW, TAKE 30 MINUTES AND KNOW THE DEAL
#know your shit (i wanna start this tag so fall along if u feel me)
Assata Shakur is one of the strongest and most courageous black women you will ever read about. Assata meaning “she who struggles” and Shakur meaning “the thankful one” is a true warrior in the fight for black equality. At a very young age in the 1960’s, she participated in various struggles including the Black Liberation Movement, the Student Rights Movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. As member of the Black Panther party, she fed thousands of black children every morning insisting that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. She, as a young teen, mentored many young black girls on the importance of natural hair and supporting black men. In 1973, she was falsely accused of shooting a state trooper on the NJ turnpike after medical evidence showed she clearly couldn’t have done the crime. She spent almost 7 years in prison in solitary confinement, suffering from brutal beatings from prison guards, severe malnourishment, and complete lack of medical attention. Through it all, she stood strong and with the help of the Black Panthers, was able to escape that hell.
While in prison she birthed a beautiful baby girl named Kakuya Shakur.
Today 40 years later, she is still being pursued by the FBI and recently was placed on the FBI’S “Most Wanted Terrorist” list. This is the same list the Taliban and OSAMA BIN LADEN were placed on. She is not only the first woman to be placed on the list, but the second person in history from the U.S to be placed on the list. The state of New Jersey also added $1 million to the FBI’s $1 million bounty on her head. They are offering $2 MILLION for her capture. Isn’t it crazy that New Jersey with all the problems it has can come up with $1 Million to place on Assata’s head? She was basically kidnapped by the police, sentenced to life in prison with no evidence, severely beaten on the regular, starved almost to death then she is able to finally escape the torture and now she’s the terrorist? Anyway, she is a phenomenal poet and if you get the chance read her autobiography. It’ll change your life. The fact that they are still chasing her and offering so much money shows that they are afraid of what she symbolizes. Assata is an inspiration to us all and shows us how important it is to be able to stand on your own two feet. Stand for something or Fall for anything. Strong, Black Woman I Salute your Existence!!!!!
“Freedom! You askin me about freedom?! Askin me about freedom? I’ll be honest with you. I know a whole lot more about what freedom isn’t than about what it is, cause I’ve never been free. I can only share my vision with you of the future, about what freedom is. Uhh, the way I see it, freedom is the right to grow, is the right to blossom. Freedom is the right to be yourself, to be who you are, to be who you wanna be, to do what you wanna do.” Assata Shakur
On this first day of Black History Month 2014, I present to you all: Assata Olugbala Shakur.
She was born JoAnne Deborah Byron in Jamaica, Queens, NYC on July 16, 1947. For a certain period during her childhood, she ran away from home and lived with strangers until she was taken in by her aunt, Evelyn Williams, who later became her lawyer. Shakur was a high school drop-out, but later earned her GED with the help of her aunt. She attended Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and then the City College of New York (CCNY) in the mid-1960s, where she became heavily active politically and was involved in many protest, sit-ins and other activities.
Shakur was arrested for the first time in 1967 with 100 other BMCC students, on charges of trespassing. The students had chained and locked the entrance to a college building to protest the fact that the curriculum was deficient in black studies and that there was a lack of black faculty. She married Louis Chesimard, a fellow student-activist at CCNY, in April 1967, divorcing him in December 1970.
After graduation from CCNY at 23, Shakur became involved in the Black Panther Party (BPP), eventually becoming a leading member of the party’s Harlem branch.One of Shakur’s main activities with the Panthers was coordinating a school breakfast program. However, she soon left the BPP due to her claim of macho behavior of males within the organization. Shakur’s main criticism of the Black Panther Party was its alleged lack of focus on black history. Her commentary on this stance is below:
“The basic problem stemmed from the fact that the BPP had no systematic approach to political education. They were reading the Red Book but didn’t know who Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, and Nat Turner were. They talked about intercommunalism but still really believed that the Civil War was fought to free the slaves. A whole lot of them barely understood any kind of history, Black, African or otherwise. […] That was the main reason many Party members, in my opinion, underestimated the need to unite with other Black organizations and to struggle around various community issues.”
That same year she changed her name to Assata Shakurand joined the Black Liberation Army (BLA), which was labeled in the United States as: “a radical and violent organization of black activists…whose primary objective (was) to fight for the independence and self-determination of Afrikan people in the United States.“ In 1971, she joined the Republic of New Afrika, which was an organization formed to create an independent black-majority nation composed of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
On May 2, 2013 the FBI and the New Jersey State Police announced that Shakur had become the first woman to be added to the agency’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists. Why? Because in 1977, Shakur, along with Zayd Malik Shakur (born James F. Costan) and Sundiata Acoli (born Clark Squire), was convicted of a slew of criminal charges, including the first degree murder of State Trooper Werner Forester, after a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike. (Previously, she had been unsuccessfully prosecuted in six other criminal cases, including bank robbery.) The Turnpike incident began when Forester and State Trooper James Harper pulled the car over for driving with a broken tail light. It is here that the details of how the shootout began diverge however this was the ultimate information: Trooper Harper admitted (while under cross-examination) to having lied in the reports he made and in his Grand Jury testimony about Trooper Forester yelling and showing him an ammunition magazine, about seeing Shakur holding a pocketbook or a gun inside the vehicle, and about Shakur shooting at him from the car. Harper retracted his previous statements and said that he had never seen Shakur with a gun and that she did not shoot him.
Despite all of this, Shakur was convicted for Forester’s murder, after which she was sentenced to life in prison. But on Nov. 2, 1979, she escaped, then turned up five years later in Cuba, where she has political asylum. The FBI’s listed reward for Shakur’s apprehension has very recently increased to $2 million.
Shakur has two published works: Assata: An Autobiography (written in 1987 in Cuba) and Still Black, Still Strong (1993). They are worth checking out. Educate yourselves. Shakur is no terrorist. I admire this example of a strong, intelligent, and brave black woman who stood her ground in the face of false accusations time and time again.
You can be a revolutionary-thinking person and have your hair fried up. And you can have an Afro and be a traitor to Black people. But for me, how you dress and how you look have always reflected what you have to say about yourself.
If we are really tired of being beat down and disgraced by this system, then we have to do something about it. Too many of us have that go along to get along mentality and pass that on to others. We don’t want to talk about our oppression, we don’t want to talk about race, we don’t want to accept the fact that Racism still exists. None of these things benefit us. If we really want to get “free”, then we gonna have to make some noise and I’m not talking about marching. I’m talking about owning some shit, running some shit, and producing some shit. Ignoring our situation is only going to prolong it and make it worse. “The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
The US gov’t has a $2 million bounty on this black woman that fought against a system that has systemically and continues to systemically oppress her people, internationally and nationally. Hands off Assata!