We have nothing to lose but our chains. A poignant exploration of Assata Shakur's journey from girlhood through adulthood, serving also as a chronicle of the Black Power Movement and the evolution of U. Though they are in some ways an eclectic mix, the poems interspersed across Assata develop common and interrelated themes. What can Assata Shakur teach us? It is our duty to fight for our freedom. To hate someone, to discriminate against them, and to attack them because of their racial characteristics is one of the most primitive, reactionary, ignorant ways of thinking that exists.
Red Wedge relies on you! The turnpike is a checkpoint where Black people are stopped, searched, harassed, and assaulted. In the late 1960s, Assata joined the Black Panther Party, and was instrumental in the Harlem free breakfast program and free health clinic when she transferred to City College. Hands Off Assata Campaign Action Alerts use networks of ordinary citizens from all over the world to educate, agitate and compel change. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou. The text holds out hope that, even in the context of incarceration, it is still possible for comrades to sustain one another in the truth of their resistance. I want to apologize to you, my Black brothers and sisters, for being on the new jersey turnpike.
Through the text, Shakur rewrites sources of inter-personal and intergenerational conflict as providing a basis for unity. The hacksaw has two blades. As was proved by Watergate, the top law enforcement officials in this country are a lying bunch of criminals. Assata and Guillermo had an enduring controversial relationship to City College from the time they had been students at the college during the late 1960s and early 1970s and their legacies as Black and Puerto Rican revolutionaries continued to threaten the conservative media, politicians, and the police, all of whom wanted this Center closed. A pencil in the other, marking up my homework with your love. She is a subject who is holding back the energy that nonetheless bubbles and churns within her. And i believe that a lost ship, steered by tired, seasick sailors, can still be guided home to port.
Long a target of J. It is the resistant subject that forces the oppressors to admit and confront what they have become, what they have done and are doing. They purr at you cause you know how to roar and back it up with realness. Over two years of his life was stolen, but they call us kidnappers. It was broadcast on hundreds of radio stations and published in movement newspapers across the country. Many jobless Black veterans and welfare mothers are joining our ranks. On her 68th birthday, we celebrate the life and influence of Assata Shakur with these 10 quotes.
I should have known better. Still, you learn all you need to know about Assata and the powers that she was up against. She was imprisoned for several years after the police shot her, eventually escaping to Cuba in 1979. If you care about your own freedom and your right to stand up, be heard and compel change, support Assata Shakur by participating in. Assata writes: It should also be clear to us by now who the real criminals are… They call us murderers, but we did not murder over two hundred fifty unarmed Black men, women, and children or wound thousands of others in the riots they provoked during the Sixties. Externalizing the blame in this way, shifting it from the victims of oppression to their oppressors, thus allows Shakur to imagine moving forward into the future together with her previously estranged mother: Leave the past behind where it belongs— and come with me toward tomorrow.
And every time we pay our rent the landlord sticks a gun into our ribs. They call us bandits, but it is not we who are robbing Africa, Asia, and Latin America of their natural resources and freedom while the people who live there are sick and starving. Assata thus stands as living proof that it is possible to challenge the empire in the most stark terms, to stare — and even to swear — right into the dripping fangs of repression, and yet live to tell the tale. They call us thieves and bandits. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted 10 times and stood trial for two bank robberies, the kidnapping of a drug dealer, attempted murder of several police officers, and the murder of a New Jersey state trooper.
Copyright © Year Posted 2016. Love is my sword and truth is my compass. Their trial had many flaws, including racial injustice by the jury and admitted perjury by the trial's star witness. Every time a Black Freedom Fighter is murdered or captured, the pigs try to create the impression that they have quashed the movement, destroyed our forces, and put down the Black Revolution. She remains today in exile. They have offered over fifty thousand dollars in rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.
The rulers of this country and their flunkies have committed some of the most brutal, vicious crimes in history. Hungry, you turn up your nose at my peas and rice. Her irreverent prose and poetry alike seek to shift consciousness to the point that oppressors will be denied their pedestal of one-way judgment. In the late 1960s, Shakur became involved with the Black Panther party and her political problems began. But a one-sided race war with Black people as targets and white people shooting the guns is worse. Using narrative and poetry to tell her own story, Assata implicitly models how readers can commit their own lives to social change. But the bounty has not stopped the grandmother from periodically providing trenchant commentary on American state violence.
I love you mommy cause you are beautiful, and I am life that springs from you: part tree, part weed, part flower. If you liked this piece then please consider. The system has stripped her of almost everything… but not her will and her wisdom; these are perhaps even sharpened in the process. They call us bandits, but it is not we who are robbing Africa, Asia, and Latin America of their natural resources and freedom while the people who live their are sick and starving. Her presence thus suggests the radicalism of those who uphold her example, as well as their militancy. After you know that the dead are still walking, After you realize that silence is talking that outside and inside, are just an illusion, What is left? Slavery is legal in prisons. The government wants us dumb, silent, docile and compliant.
Is my mind a machine gun? It is our duty to win. That's why political work and organizing are so important. It is then from this collective and historical vantage point that Shakur begins to speak not just about but to her mother in the text. I will return to this text in a later installment. Yet, the ease of acceptance was aes in the political world. Black revolutionaries do not drop from the moon.