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    1. #1
      Elisa Keisha's Avatar
      Elisa Keisha is offline Moderator

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      My first memory of Assata Shakur... (by Mos Def)


      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Assata Shakur: The Government's Terrorist is
      Our Community's Heroine
      by Mos Def

      Earlier this month the federal government issued a
      statement in which they labeled Joanne Chesimard,
      known to most in the Black community as Assata Shakur,
      as a domestic terrorist. In so doing, they also
      increased the bounty on her head from $150,000 to an
      unprecedented $1,000,000. Viewed through the lens of
      U.S. law enforcement, Shakur is an escaped cop-killer.
      Viewed through the lens of many Black people,
      including me, she is a wrongly convicted woman and a
      hero of epic proportions.

      My first memory of Assata Shakur was the "Wanted"
      posters all over my Brooklyn neighborhood. They said
      her name was Joanne Chesimard, that she was a killer,
      an escaped convict, and armed and dangerous. They made
      her sound like a super-villain, like something out of
      a comic book. But even then, as a child, I couldn't
      believe what I was being told. When I looked at those
      posters and the mug shot of a slight, brown,
      high-cheekboned woman with a full afro, I saw someone
      who looked like she was in my family, an aunt, a
      mother. She looked like she had soul. Later, as a
      junior high school student, when I read her
      autobiography, Assata, I would discover that not only
      did she have soul, she also had immeasurable heart,
      courage and love. And I would come to believe that
      that very heart and soul she possessed was exactly why
      Assata Shakur was shot, arrested, framed and convicted
      of the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper.

      There are some undisputed facts about the case. On May
      2nd, 1973, Assata Shakur, a Black Panther, was driving
      down the New Jersey State Turnpike with two
      companions, Zayd Shakur and Sundiata Acoli. The three
      were pulled over, ostensibly for a broken tail light.
      A gun battle ensued, why and how it started is
      unclear. But the aftermath is not. Trooper Werner
      Forester and Zayd Shakur lay dead. Sundiata Acoli
      escaped [he was captured two days later]. And Assata
      was shot and arrested. At trial, three neurologists
      would testify that the first gunshot shattered her
      clavicle and the second shattered the median nerve in
      her right hand. That testimony proved that she was
      sitting with her hands raised when she was fired on by
      police. Further testimony proved that no gun residue
      was found on either of her hands, nor were her finger
      prints found on any of the weapons located at the
      scene. Nevertheless, Shakur was convicted by an
      all-White jury and sentenced to life in prison. Six
      years and six months to the day that she was
      arrested, and aided by friends, Shakur escaped from
      Clinton Women's Prison in New Jersey. As a high school
      student I remember seeing posters all around the
      Brooklyn community I lived in that read: Assata Shakur
      is Welcome Here. In 1984, she surfaced in Cuba and was
      granted political asylum by Fidel Castro.

      There are those who believe that being convicted of a
      crime makes you guilty. But that imposes an assumption
      of infallibility upon our criminal justice system.
      When Assata Shakur was convicted of killing Werner
      Forester, not only had the Black Panther Party been
      labeled by then F.B.I. director, J. Edgar Hoover, as
      "the greatest internal threat" to American security,
      but Assata herself had been thoroughly criminalized in
      the minds of the American public; she'd been charged
      in six different crimes ranging from attempted murder
      to bank robbery, and her acquittal or dismissal of the
      charges outright notwithstanding, to the average
      citizen, it seemed she must be guilty of something.
      And she was. She was guilty of calling for a shift in
      power in America, and for racial and economic justice.
      Included on a short list of the many people who have
      made that call and were either criminalized,
      terrorized, killed or blacklisted are Paul Robeson,
      Martin Luther King, Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman,
      Medgar Evers and Ida B. Wells.

      Perhaps what is most insulting about the government's
      latest attack on Assata is that while they vigorously
      pursue her extradition, a few years ago using it as a
      bargaining chip for lifting the embargo itself, they
      have been decidedly lackadaisical in pursuing the
      extradition to Venezuela of an admitted terrorist,
      Florida resident Luis Posada Carriles. Carriles is
      likely responsible for blowing up a Cuban airline in
      1976, an act which claimed the lives of some 73
      innocent civilians.

      For those of us who either remember the state of the
      union in the 1960s and 1970s or have studied it, when
      we consider Assata Shakur living under political
      asylum in Cuba, we believe that nation is exercising
      its political sovereignty, and in no way harboring a
      terrorist. Cubans sees Assata as I, and many others in
      my community do: as a woman who was and is persecuted
      for her political beliefs. When the federal government
      raised the bounty on her head this May 2, one official
      declared that Assata was merely "120 pounds of money."
      For many of us in the Black community she could never
      be so reduced. For many of us in the Black community,
      she was and remains, to use her own words, an "escaped
      slave," a heroine, not unlike Harriet Tubman.

      MOS DEF, an actor and rapper, is currently starring in
      The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

      Elisa Marvena Nyarai




      SANKOFA Asociacin Cultural
      www.myspace.com/sankofacultura
      http://sankofacultura.blogspot.com

    2. #2
      Jaha's Avatar
      Jaha is offline Empress

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Appreciate the post Empress.

      -Jaha
      "We prefer Self-Government...with danger--- to servitude in tranquility.
      -Kwame Nkrumah


      LIFE is for the LIVING.

      -EOTO (Each One Teach One)

    3. #3
      Tehuti-4's Avatar
      Tehuti-4 is offline Atef Warrior

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      (common)
      In the spirit of god.
      In the spirit of the ancestors.
      In the spirit of the black panthers.
      In the spirit of assata shakur.
      We make this movement towards freedom
      For all those who have been oppressed, and all those in the struggle.
      Yeah. yo, check it-

      There were lights and sirens, gunshots firin
      Cover your eyes as I describe a scene so violent
      Seemed like a bad dream, she laid in a blood puddle
      Blood bubbled in her chest, cold air brushed against open flesh
      No room to rest, pain consumed each breath
      Shot twice wit her hands up
      Police questioned but shot before she answered
      One panther lost his life, the other ran for his
      Scandalous the police were as they kicked and beat her
      Comprehension she was beyond, tryna hold on
      To life. she thought she’d live with no arm
      That’s what it felt like, got to the hospital, eyes held tight
      They moved her room to room-she could tell by the light
      Handcuffed tight to the bed, through her skin it bit
      Put guns to her head, every word she got hit
      ’who shot the trooper? ’ they asked her
      Put mace in her eyes, threatened to blast her
      Her mind raced till things got still
      Opened her eyes, realized she’s next to her best friend who got killed
      She got chills, they told her: that’s where she would be next
      Hurt mixed wit anger-survival was a reflex
      They lied and denied visits from her lawyer
      But she was buildin as they tried to destroy her
      If it wasn’t for this german nurse they woulda served her worse
      I read this sister’s story, knew that it deserved a verse
      I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
      All this shit so we could be free, so dig it, y’all.

      (cee-lo vocals)
      I’m thinkin’ of assata, yes.
      Listen to my love, assata, yes.
      Your power and pride is beautiful.
      May God bless your soul.

      (common)
      It seemed like the middle of the night when the law awakened her
      Walkie-talkies cracklin, I see ’em when they takin her
      Though she kinda knew,
      What made the ride peaceful was the trees and the sky was blue
      Arrived to middlesex prison about six inna morning
      Uneasy as they pushed her to the second floor in
      A cell, one cot, no window, facing hell.
      Put in the basement of a prison wit all males
      And the smell of misery, seatless toilets and centipedes
      She’d exercise, (paint? ,) and begin to read
      Two years inna hole. her soul grew weak
      Away from people so long she forgot how to speak
      She discovered frredom is a unspoken sound
      And a wall is a wall and can be broken down
      Found peace in the panthers she went on trial with
      One of the brothers she had a child with
      The foulness they would feed her, hopin she’s lose her seed
      Held tight, knowing the fight would live through this seed
      In need of a doctor, from her stomach she’s bleed
      Out of this situation a girl was conceived
      Separated from her, left to mother the revolution
      And lactated to attack hate
      Cause federal and state was built for a black fate
      Her emptiness was filled with beatings and court dates
      They fabricated cases, hoping one would stick
      And said she robbed places that didn’t exist
      In the midst of threats on her life and being caged with aryan whites
      Through dark halls of hate she carried the light
      I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
      All of this shit so we could be free.
      Yeah, I often wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
      All of this shit so we could be free, so dig it, people-

      (cee-lo)
      I’m thinkin’ of assata, yeah.
      Listen to my love, assata, yeah.
      Your power and pride, so beautiful...
      May God bless your soul.
      Oooh.

      (common)
      Yo
      From north carolina her grandmother would bring
      News that she had had a dream
      Her dreams always meant what they needed them to mean
      What made them real was the action in between
      She dreamt that assata was free in they old house in queens
      The fact that they always came true was the thing
      Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldna done
      Medical evidence shown she couldna shot the gun
      It’s time for her to see the sun from the other side
      Time for her daughter to be by her mother’s side
      Time for this beautiful woman to become soft again
      Time for her to breathe, and not be told how or when
      She untangled the chains and escaped the pain
      How she broke out of prison I could never explain
      And even to this day they try to get to her
      But she’s free with political asylum in cuba.

      (cee-lo vocals)
      I’m thinkin’ of assata, yeah.
      Listen to my love, assata, yeah.
      We’re molded from the same mud, assata.
      We share the same blood, assata, yeah.
      Your power and pride, so beautiful...
      May God bless your soul.
      Your power and pride, so beautiful...
      May God bless your soul.
      Oooh.

      (assata)
      Freedom! you askin me about freedom. askin me about freedom?
      I’ll be honest with you. I know a whole more about what freedom isn’t
      Than about what it is, cause I’ve never been free.
      I can only share my vision with you of the future, about what freedom is.
      Uhh, the way I see it, freedom is-- is the right to grow, is the right to
      Blossom.
      Freedom is -is the right to be yourself, to be who you are,
      To be who you wanna be, to do what you wanna do. (fade out)
      The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

    4. #4
      Elisa Keisha's Avatar
      Elisa Keisha is offline Moderator

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      I still got chills when I hear that song... cee-lo's chorus is absolutly...blacknificent!!!! and common describes it so so well!

      thank u Tehuti for addin this one!

      Elisa Marvena Nyarai




      SANKOFA Asociacin Cultural
      www.myspace.com/sankofacultura
      http://sankofacultura.blogspot.com

    5. #5
      Tehuti-4's Avatar
      Tehuti-4 is offline Atef Warrior

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by Elisa_Keisha
      I still got chills when I hear that song... cee-lo's chorus is absolutly...blacknificent!!!! and common describes it so so well!

      thank u Tehuti for addin this one!

      I feel you Keish. Much love goes to our brother Common for that one!
      The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

    6. #6
      Moorish Rebel's Avatar
      Moorish Rebel is offline Nkrumah-Tureist

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      Whoa I felt myself getting a bit emotional (in a manly way) as I read this article. The more I hear of our Warrior Queen's struggle, the more it gets hard not to just lash out irrationally. Even though I feel like shedding a tear right now, this isn't the time to cry...this just further motivate me to continue to strive towards African Liberation and continue to wake my people up.

      Thanx for sharing this Sister Elisa.


      Peace.
      Forward to ONE Unified Liberated Africa

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