The freedom fighters for the African American people have not been forgotten. The Black Panthers and other black activists of the sixties left an indelible mark on the legal system of the U.S. and on the hearts of the African American family.
Assata Shakur wrote an autobiography in 1987, that is a must-read for any and all individuals who want to know the true story of her struggle as a young black woman in the 60’s trying to find herself and her freedom. She details her arrest and imprisonment for the incident that occurred 40 years ago yesterday, May 2, 1973, when she allegedly shot a New Jersey state trooper in a shoot out between police and black activist members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army of which she belonged.
Shakur was imprisoned in horrific conditions until she was assisted by a German nurse who helped her escape prison and she fled to Cuba, where she still resides to this day. But now the FBI is gunning for her again and yesterday on the 40th anniversary of the incident, they boosted the reward for her capture by doubling it to $2 million and made her the very first woman to be added to their Most Wanted List.
The godmother and aunt to Tupac Shakur, tells a story akin to many black political prisoners’ stories of fighting the U.S. government’s system of injustice during the 60’s. Read more about her life here, purchase her autobiography here, read about yesterday’s newest FBI case here, and listen to the moving tribute Common made for her in 2000, called “A Song for Assata” which is featured on his much lauded Like Water for Chocolate album.