“A compelling tale of the impact of white racism on a sensitive and powerful young black woman.” – Library Journal
After all the books nominations and over 140 votes cast…Mocha Girls Read March book selection winner is Assata: An Autobiography. Take a minute to see what this book and the author are all about.
On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka Jo Anne 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 1977 as an accomplice to murder.
This intensely personal and political autobiography bellies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the stare. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weakness, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at he hands of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place along side 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 Olugbala Shakur (born July 16, 1947as JoAnne Deborah Byron, married name Chesimard) is an African-American activist and escaped convict who was a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes and made the subject of a multi-state manhunt.
In May 1973 Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, during which New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur were killed and Shakur and Trooper James Harper were wounded. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.
Shakur was then incarcerated in several prisons, where her treatment drew criticism from some human rights groups. She escaped from prison in 1979 and has been living in Cuba in political asylum since 1984. Since May 2, 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has classified her as a “domestic terrorist” and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. Attempts to extradite her have resulted in letters to the Pope and a Congressional resolution. Shakur is the step-aunt of the deceased hip hop icon Tupac Shakur (the sister of his stepfather, Mutulu Shakur). Her life has been portrayed in literature, film and song.
Congratulations to Mocha Girl Assata for becoming Mocha Girls Read book for the month for March 2012.
Feel free to leave comments and thoughts here as you are reading the book. I’m looking forward to reading this book and hearing what everyone thinks of it.
Keep the pages turning!
♥Mocha Girl Alysia♥
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