“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” Assata: An Autobiography
Assata: An Autobiography is perhaps the most important book we can read in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury verdict announced on Monday 25th November.
‘Shakur’s recently published autobiography is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how black liberation and police brutality against blacks is an enduring legacy of injustice.’ – MsAfropolitan
Following the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting and consequent death of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, protests and riots have broken out in Ferguson and are spreading across the States and worldwide.
The decision has brought to the forefront the ever present racial divide in America and other countries. This divide still rings true for Assata Shakur, ex member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). In 1973, Assata was involved in a shoot out and accused of, among other crimes, killing a New Jersey State Trooper. She was incarcerated in various prisons throughout the 70’s until she escaped in 1979 and was given political asylum in Cuba.
In 2013, Assata was moved to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list, with a $2 million reward for assistance in her capture.
Assata and the Ferguson verdict both remind us of how strongly the civil rights era resonates with us still today and expose the white patriarchal criminal system which remains in America, “All you have to do is ask yourselves, who controls the government? And who are the victims of that control?”