Assata Speaks

If you are unaware of our political warriors who have been in the struggle for equal rights and treatment in the United States throughout history, open your ears and eyes to at least this one.  Personally, I’ve heard of many in the past, but never knew the full length story of their battle until I DECIDED to do so.  Learning of Assata, her story was one of the most compelling and eye-opening for me as a teen.  Today, it’s important to recognize her story and understand what it means for not only her generation, but our generation as well..  Here’s a short bio she wrote for herself, followed by a video recorded by Dream Hampton for the Black August Hip Hop Project founded by MXGM.

My name is Assata (“she who struggles”) Shakur (“the thankful one”), and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of  government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I  joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar  Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and  vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.

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