Assata: An Autobiography

Front Cover
Zed Books, 1987 - Biography & Autobiography - 274 pages
18 Reviews

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne 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 belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside 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.


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User Review  - jasonli - LibraryThing

A riveting account of a prominent black activist in 1970s USA, on her upbringing, her struggles with the system at large, and her endless and senseless incarceration. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - astrologerjenny - LibraryThing

This book is all about racism, and often it’s shocking. But this story of the government persecution of a Black Panther woman is also a book about endurance and strength. It blows my mind that Shakur ... Read full review


Foreword by Lennox S Hinds vi
Chapter IS 216
Postscript 266

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Are Prisons Obsolete?
Angela Y. Davis
No preview available - 2011
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