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Assata: An Autobiography

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A deftly written book . . . A spellbinding tale."  —The New York Times Book Review

"A sober, restrained, but forceful recollection. . . . A must book for those interested in the 'revolutionaries' of the 1960s" —Chioce

"A compelling tale of the impact of white racism on a sensitive and powerful young black woman." —Library Journal

Library Journal
This black activist's memoir is like a freeze frame of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Though the polemical rhetoric is dated, the book is an otherwise compelling tale of the impact of white racism on a sensitive and powerful young black woman. Born Joanne Chesimard, she took an African name to confirm her commitment to black liberation, joined militant organizations, and was ultimately convicted of the murder of a New Jersey highway patrol officer in 1977. Her descriptions of life in prison and the vagaries of the court system are especially wrenching. Living now in Cuba as an escaped felon, she continues her utopian plea for revolution. Recommended for large libraries and specialists. Anthony O. Edmonds, Ball State Univ., Muncie, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556520747
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 81,512
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 26 )
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(22)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    Brilliant

    This has to be the best book I've ever read. It displays how strong and proud Assata Shakur is for us,black people. This is a must read!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    ASSATA!

    Assata Shakur's story means more to me than words could ever explain. I am only twenty-four but rest assured her story will be told to my children and their children and so on.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2004

    Black Power

    Assata's words were so meaningful and deep I found myself traveling into her world. She faced a life that I could have never imagined. I am a 19 year old Black female and her words were like a wake up call..

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Assata

    Is amazing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Awesome

    I have read this book several times, one of my favorites. Everyone should read this book especially women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2013

    This is one of those books you read over and over and over and f

    This is one of those books you read over and over and over and find a new nugget of information with each reading. Her story resonated within in as a teen (when I first read it) and continues to captivate me as a newly-minted 30 year old young woman. Her story will no doubt stay with me forever.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Heartkit

    She followed the bear's scent and hissed.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2012

    Good Read

    Interesting look at her life and her ideas in terms of prison and society. I had to read it for a class, but it was a good read nonetheless.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2004

    An Amazing story

    Whith this autobiography Assata gives us all a very profound look inside the BPP. She also tells of the painful and demorilizing of all she went through for her race and equality of all races. With reading this book i could only feel guilty of all the sacrifices others has made for me and other people in this country. I only wish i could have cotributed to the movement.....Its a great read A great book!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    The book is so powerful. It's a must read for all! And a real ey

    The book is so powerful. It's a must read for all! And a real eye opener towards the way the government works.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    Great Read

    Loved this book if your interested in political prisoners fighting for the equality of oppressed people this is a great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    This was a exceptionaly well written book. I loved reading Assat

    This was a exceptionaly well written book. I loved reading Assata story and I love how it gave you insight on how life was being a part of the Black Panther Party. I recommend this for all people to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2006

    A Must Read

    I truly enjoyed this book and I have purchased it for my hairdresser. I would recommend it to others as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2005

    Power to the People

    Excellent, excellent, excellent!!! It is a must read for all. 'Assata', is food for thought for all women of any race.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2003

    Fight the Power!!!

    This book is among the best ever written, to chronicle the life of someone so smart and beautiful is amazing. To have that person be yourself is another thing. Assata Shakur is my role model and should be a lot of young females' too. Not just black females I mean all females!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    I NOW UNDERSTAND !!

    Sometimes books pick you instead of you picking them. This has become one of the best books that I have ever read. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE !

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    It's a hell of a book

    This book is outstanding and motivating to anyone of African-American heritage. It shows the struggle of one's life going through something that she shouldn't have been blamed for. Being imprisoned and even becoming pregnated while being in jail, going back and fourth to court, trying to keep hope alive, checking up with the doctor. This book will encourage anyone who reads it to stay strong and keep hope going. Even as she lives in Cuba now in exile because of what had happened she will always be remembered.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2002

    the woman inside us all

    This book is one of the greatest ever written. It is talking to all women of color who have struggled in a society not built for us, black nor female. She as a person has now become my hero.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    Great Book

    Assata Shakur tells it the way it is in that book. And me being a young Black female in times like this makes me somewhat happy not to have had witnessed the wickedness the oppressive whites had against Blacks in those late 60's and early 70's. Assata has gone through good and bad and worse times, but all in all she escaped all the drama and lives at a more suitable enviornment. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2001

    revolutionary for the new age

    This book is excellant. It tells how the real amerikkka was and how it still is. Shakur shows how the U.S. does how political prisoners and how herself a political prisoner was treated.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

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