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Hands off Assata Shakur

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Boyd,Herb (Author)
Newspaper Article
Publication Date:
May 12-May 18, 2005
New York, NY
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, African Americans, Cuba, Political asylum, Fugitives, Activists, Shakur, Assata, 1947-
Ever since [Assata Shakur] (nee Joanne Chesimard) became a member of the Black Panther Party and subsequently a member of the Black Liberation Army, she has been involved in revolutionary activities to change the racist policies of America. She found herself in the crosshairs of the criminal justice system in the early 1970s after she and her comrades were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike by New Jersey State Troopers. Assata was traveling with Zayd Shakur and Sundiata Acoli in May 1973 when they were stopped, the troopers said, because of a faulty tail light on their car. Shortly after the stop, a shootout occurred. "There were lights and sirens," Shakur recalled in her autobiography. "Zayd was dead. My mind knew that Zayd was dead. The air was like cold glass, my mouth tasted like blood and dirt. Suddenly the [car] door flew open and I felt myself being dragged out onto the pavement. Pushed and punched, a foot upside my head, a kick in the stomach. Police were everywhere. One had a gun to my head," she wrote.