Initially living with her Parents and Grandparents, her parents would divorce in , leaving Assata to live with her Grandmother in Wilmington, North Carolina. As a teen, she would relocate back to Queens, however Assata would run away from home to live with strangers, till she was taken in by her Aunt, Evelyn Williams who would go on to become her lawyer and educational aid to attain her GED after dropping out of High school. On each of the six occasions, Assata Shakur was found not guilty through dismissals, mistrials, acquittals and a hung jury. Shakur was alleged to have been directly involved with the Foster and Laurie murders, and involved with the Piagentini and Jones murders. Conviction Shakur has only been found guilty on one occasion; the Turnpike Shootout in which Shakur was convicted on First-degree murder, second-degree murder, atrocious assault and battery, assault and battery against a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. The basis of this defence relied on expert medical evidence, which proved that Shakur did not handle a gun and due to her injuries, she was unable to fire a weapon even if she had been handling it.

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On May 2, , Black Panther Assata Shakur aka JoAnne Chesimard lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper.

Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in as an accomplice to murder.

This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials.

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.

Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides. Assata : An Autobiography. Assata Shakur. Life Changer!

Are Prisons Obsolete? Angela Y. Foreword by Lennox S Hinds vi. Chapter IS Postscript Angela Yvonne Davis , Lennox S.


Assata Shakur: from civil rights activist to FBI's most-wanted

At a Glance …. 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

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Assata Olugbala Shakur

After she ran away from home several times, her aunt, who would later act as one of her lawyers, took her in. After graduation, she began using the name Assata Shakur, and briefly joined the Black Panther Party. She then joined the BLA, a loosely knit offshoot of the Black Panthers, which was engaged in an armed struggle against the US government through tactics such as robbing banks and killing police officers and drug dealers. Between and , she was charged with several crimes and was the subject of a multi-state manhunt. Harper was wounded; Zayd was killed; Foerster was killed by Acoli. Between and , she was charged with murder , attempted murder , armed robbery , bank robbery , and kidnapping in relation to the shootout and six other incidents.


Shakur, Assata 1947–

Shakur spent much of her adolescence alternating residences between her mother, who remarried and returned to New York, and relatives in Wilmington. Shakur enrolled in Borough of Manhattan Community College before transferring to City College of New York, where her exposure to Black Nationalist organizations profoundly impacted her activism. Shakur attended meetings held by the Golden Drums, where she met her husband, Louis Chesimard. Members of the organization familiarized her with black historical figures that resisted racial oppression and social violence.

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