After graduation from CCNY, Shakur moved to Oakland, California and joined the Black Panther Party(BPP). IN 1979 a group of Black Liberation Army (BL A) members broker her out of prison and Shakur escaped to Cuba and was granted refuge as a political refugee. She escaped from prison in 1979 and later fled to Cuba in 1984, where she gained political asylum. Article: Assata Shakur and the Long War on Black Liberation - During the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Assata Shakur's name saw increased recognition. Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes, none of which had sufficient evidence to back them. Assata Olugbala Shakur is best known for her work in Civil Rights activism. Herman Bell and Anthony Bottom (aka Jal… This paper is the result of a class called Politics of International Terrorism. Despite her fears of surveillance, Shakur continued her political activism, joining the radical Black Liberation Army, which she described as a “people’s movement” and “resistance” to the political, social, and economic oppression of African Americans. Assata Shakur and The Black Liberation Army. They would divorce in 1970. The campaign Hands Off Assata and activist group Assata's Daughters are named after her. As Shakur progressed through elementary and middle school, the differences between Black and White people, rich and poor became more pronounced. Joanne Chesimard also known as Assata Shakur is one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Terrorists currently living in Cuba.Chesimard was convicted of the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1977 and escaped prison in 1979.. Chesimard aka Assata Shakur, is the former "queen" of the Marxist Black Liberation Army (BLA) terrorist group, who was convicted of the first-degree murder of a New … Captured in 1986 and convicted of participating in the 1981 Brinks robbery, he received a 60-year sentence in a federal prison. Assata Shakur - Free All Black Liberation Fighters. Assata’s real crime, FBI spokesman Aaron Ford said, was that from Cuba she continues to “maintain and promote her … ideology” and “provides anti-U.S. government speeches espousing the Black Liberation Army message”—an ideology and message that the U.S. government has declared “terrorism.” Despite Jim Crow, Shakur’s family instilled a sense of pride in her. Officials have blasted the use of Assata Shakur's words. BLA members in prison as of January 2006, include the following: 1. On May 2 1973, Black Panther activist Assata Shakur (fsn) JoAnne Chesimard, was pulled over by the New Jersey State Police, shot twice and then charged with murder of a police officer. In Oakland, Shakur worked with the Black Panther Party to organize protests and community education programs. Clark Edward Squire (aka Sundiata Acoli), convicted along with Assata Shakur of the murder of a New Jerseystate trooper in 1973. Assata Shakur was born Joanne Deborah Byron and was raised middle-class in Queens. She struggled to inhabit the role of a model Black child, even as teachers and students reinforced a message of the superiority of white culture. She also faced charges related to the murder of a drug dealer and the attempted murder of a policeman. But activists say she is a leader. Assata Shakur was born Joanne Deborah Byron and was raised middle-class in Queens. The FBI scrambled to find Assata, while the public enga… She also questioned its leaders, like Huey P. Newton, and their lack of self-criticism and reflection. Assata is a former member of the Harlem chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). In her 1987 memoir, Assata: An Autobiography“,” she recalls her grandparents telling her: In third grade, Shakur began attending a mostly white school in Queens, New York. She was placed in solitary confinement for more than a year in a men’s facility, tortured, and beaten, she wrote in her memoir. Her reporting focuses education, race, and public policy. At the top of my list was Joanne Chesimard, another member of the Black Liberation Army who was convicted of murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a … Most of the hard-core members of the Black Liberation Army were either killed or sent to jail by the end of the 1970s. She faced charges related to bank robbery and an armed robbery in which she was shot. Another trooper, Werner Foerster, followed in a different patrol car. They’ve argued that some jurors should have been removed, the defense team was bugged, documents were leaked to the New York City Police Department, and that evidence, such as the lack of gun residue on Shakur’s hands and injuries she sustained, should have exonerated her. By 1971, according to BLA member Jalil Muntaqim, this shadowy guerrilla apparatus was ‘becoming rich in experience in the tactics of armed expropriations, sabotage, and ambush-assaults’. They also advocated for victims of police brutality. During the stop, gunfire was exchanged. Sat, Dec 26, 2020. Her activism has inspired Black Lives Matter leaders such as cofounder Alicia Garza. As I mentioned in the about me section of this portfolio, I am a Political Science major. Each time, the cases were thrown out or Shakur was not found guilty. Born JoAnne Deborah Byron on July 16, 1947, in New York City, Assata Shakur is the first woman to appear on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list. Shakur spent the first years of her life with her schoolteacher mother, Doris E. Johnson, and her grandparents Lula and Frank Hill. Although Shakur dropped out of high school, she continued her education, earning her GED, or general educational development certificate. LOGIN Subscribe. She grew up a religious person, she said. Assata Shakur, in her autobiography, Assata: An Autobiography, asserts: "… the Black Liberation Army was not a centralized, organized group with a common leadership and chain of command. She joined the Black Panthers in college, but the arrests of the Panther leadership in 1969 effectively crushed the organization. Black Liberation Army-Wikipedia Assata spent six and a half years in prison under brutal circumstances before escaping out of the maximum security wing of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey in 1979 and moving to Cuba. Shakur and others with the Black Liberation Army were convicted and sentenced in 1973 for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper. After her marriage ended, Shakur headed to California and volunteered at Alcatraz prison during its occupation by Native American activists who objected to the US government’s failure to honor treaties and general oppression of their race. On May 2 1973, Black Panther activist Assata Shakur (fsn) Joanne Deborah Chesimard, was pulled over by the New Jersey State Police, shot twice and then charged with murder of a police officer. Assata Olugbala Shakur is an Black civil rights activist who was a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). New Jersey v. Chesimard, 555 F.2d 63 (3d Cir. She’s the subject of Public Enemy’s “Rebel Without a Pause,” Common’s “A Song for Assata,” and 2Pac’s "Words of Wisdom. She lived underground for several years, eventually fleeing to Cuba in 1984. She joined the Black Panthers in college, but the arrests of the Panther leadership in 1969 effectively crushed the organization. The nation’s then leader, Fidel Castro, granted her asylum. 3. She is currently #4 on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List. On November 2, 1979 three members of the Black Liberation Army visiting her drew concealed .45-caliber pistols, seized two guards as hostages and drove a prison van through an unfenced section of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey. Also Known As: JoAnne Chesimard Born: July 16, 1947, in New York City Parents: Doris E. Johnson Education: Borough of Manhattan Community College and the City College of New York Known for: Black radical activist with the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. After her parents divorced, she split time living with her mother (who later remarried) in New York and her grandparents who settled in Wilmington, N.C. Shakur grew up in the 1950s, when Jim Crow, or racial segregation, was the law of the land in the South. Assata Shakur was taken into custody. Assata Shakur is best known for her work in Civil Rights activism with the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army between 1971 and 1979 before being imprisoned on what many consider as a miscarriage of Justice. She felt the name JoAnne didn’t suit her because she identified as an African woman and wanted a name that better reflected that. 2. Her supporters claimed the trial was deeply unfair. Assata Shakur, whose real name is Joanne Chesimard, is a Black Panther activist, a member of the left-wing Black Liberation Army, who was convicted of murder in 1977. Werner Foerster and Zayd Malik Shakur were killed, and Assata Shakur and Harper were wounded. Shakur began to get into serious legal trouble during her involvement with the BLA. Shakur is the step-aunt of Tupac Shakur … The discussion about Vietnam marked a turning point for Shakur, she said. Shakur said she was terribly treated while imprisoned. Before long, she returned to New York and and in 1971, she adopted the name “Assata Olugbala Shakur.”. 1977). The woman then announced that … She was convicted of murder and several assault charges and sentenced to life in prison. The story of Assata’s escape is like the plot of a Hollywood film. But that would change. While the guns they carried made a number of news headlines, the group took concrete, positive actions to help the Black community, such as establishing a free breakfast program to feed low-income children. She hid in Pittsburgh and then fled to Cuba in 1984, where she secured political asylum. Born on July 16, 1947 in Queens, New York City, Assata Shakurs age is 69. Shakur refused to discuss details of the breakout. Afterward, she studied at both the Borough of Manhattan Community College and the City College of New York. As a fugitive, Shakur continues to make headlines. The Black Liberation Army (BLA) replaced it. State trooper James Harper stopped them on the New Jersey Turnpike. Because she often ran away from home, she ended up in the care of her aunt Evelyn A. Williams, a civil rights worker who took the time to nurture Shakur's curiosity. Instead there were various organizations and collectives working together and simultaneously independent of each other." But juries recognized the prosecution’s fragile cases. She would go on to leave the BPP and join the Black Liberation Army (BLA). While she was pregnant, Shakur’s murder trial was declared a mistrial for fear she would miscarry. On March 25, 1977, Assata Shakur was found guilty and given the maximum sentence, despite testimony that her bullet scars corresponded to wounds incurred while surrendering. Captured in 1986 and convicted of participating in the 1981 Brinks robbery, he received a 60-year sentence in a federal prison. Shakur was later charged with the murder of Foerster and spent several years incarcerated before her trial. Jeral Wayne Williams (aka Mutulu Shakur), charged in part with conspiracy in 1979 BLA prison break of (Assata Shakur), FBI's top ten Fugitive #380. She conceived a child in prison, and the consideration of her pregnancy resulted in a mistrial. Assata Shakur, as a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, made numerous contributions to the freedom struggle of Black people. Meanwhile, the City of New York piled charge after charge on Shakur, using weak evidence and the rationale that the BLA had to be stopped. On May 2, 1973, Shakur was in a car with two BLA members, Sundiata Acoli and her close friend Zayd Malik Shakur. 2. Joining the Black Panthers led Shakur to be surveilled by law enforcement agencies like the FBI, she said. Two years after her murder conviction, BLA members and other activists posed as visitors to the prison and broke Shakur out. In 1974, she gave birth to a daughter, Kakuya, behind bars. In her autobiography, Shakur describes herself as an intelligent, curious, but somewhat troubled child. The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was an underground Black Power revolutionary organization that operated in the United States from 1970 to 1981. Despite Williams' support, the troubled teen quit high school and got a low-paying job. Subject. Biography of Angela Davis, Political Activist and Academic, 6 Revealing Autobiographies by African American Thinkers, 27 Black American Women Writers You Should Know, Black Women Who Have Run for President of the United States, Biography of Maria W. Stewart, Groundbreaking Lecturer and Activist, Biography of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, African History Expert, Biography of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Journalist Who Fought Racism, Biography of Fred Hampton, Black Panther Party Leader, Why Black People Had a Complex Relationship With Fidel Castro, Civil Rights Movement Timeline From 1965 to 1969, Biography of Huey Newton, Co-Founder of the Black Panthers, The discussion about Vietnam marked a turning point for Shakur, Shakur said she was terribly treated while imprisoned, They wanted to portray her as a terrorist, “Assata Shakur: from Civil Rights Activist to FBI's Most-Wanted.”, Assata: An Autobiography, by Assata Shakur, book review: Revolutionary from a different time, a different struggle, 8 Things to Know About Assata Shakur and the Calls to Bring Her Back from Cuba. A mile away, two cars were waiting to transfer the crew away from the scene, and to take Assata underground into a network of BLA safehouses. An activist in black radical groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Shakur was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper in 1977, but supporters helped her escape prison and take refuge in Cuba. Assata Shakur was taken into custody. The Black Liberation Army (BLA) replaced it. State troopers stop them, reportedly because of a broken headlight. Reflecting from time to time on the people, dead and alive, she has left behind in the United States, Shakur became philosophical. Through her activism, Shakur meet her husband, Louis Chesimard, also a student-activist. Eventually, she met some African students at a bar and had conversations with them about the state of the world, including the Vietnam War. After returning to New York City, Shakur led the BPP chapter in Harlem, coordinating the Free Breakfast Program for children, free clinics, and community outreach. As Shakur noted: While Shakur grew close to fellow Black Panther member Zayd Malik Shakur (no relation), she quickly grew critical of the group, believing they needed to be better educated about history, African American and otherwise, and to develop a systemic approach to challenge racism. Chris Christie have demanded that Cuba release her. The country has refused. She conceived a child in prison, and the consideration of her pregnancy resulted in a mistrial. . Assata Shakur has been living in Cuba since 1986, after escaping from prison where she was serving a life sentence imposed in a highly disputed trial. Clark Edward Squire (aka Sundiata Acoli), convicted along with Assata Shakurof the murder of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. The Black Liberation Army (BLA) replaced it. Forty years after her arrest for allegedly killing Foerster, the FBI added Shakur to its “top 10 most wanted terrorist list.” The FBI and the New Jersey State Police are offering a combined $2 million reward for her, or information about her whereabouts. 3. The year was 1964. Assata Shakur’s contribution to this struggle goes far beyond the popular slogan taken from her autobiography. The chant is a quote from Assata Shakur, a former member of the Black Liberation Army who was convicted of murder in the events of the 1973 shooting of State Trooper Werner Foerster on the New Jersey Turnpike. Herman Bell and Anthony Bottom (aka Jal… Assata means “she who struggles,” Olugbala means “love for the people,” and Shakur means “the thankful,” she explained in her memoir. In New York, Shakur joined the Black Panther Party Unlike civil rights activists, the Panthers supported using violence, if necessary. She was rebellious since childhood and dropped out of school to work and live on her own a… Shakur, actively involved in the Black Liberation Army (BLA), is traveling with Malik Zayad Shakur (no relation) and Sundiata Acoli. US fugitive in Cuba. Jeral Wayne Williams (aka Mutulu Shakur), charged in part with conspiracy in 1979 BLA prison break of (Assata Shakur), FBI's top ten Fugitive #380. As godmother to the late rapper Tupac Shakur, Shakur is a particular inspiration to hip-hop artists. The activists' calmness during the occupation inspired Shakur. The Cleaver faction formed the nucleus of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), a shadowy nationwide network of violent radicals. Her first arrest came in 1967 when she and other students chained the entrance to a BMCC building to draw attention to the college’s dearth of Black professors and its lack of a Black studies department. M.A., English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College, B.A., English, Comparative Literature, and American Studies, Occidental College. White and Black people drank from separate water fountains, attended separate schools and churches, and sat in different parts of buses, trains, and restaurants. A section of … To further embrace her African heritage, Shakur, like many other African Americans in the 1960s, stopped straightening her hair and grew it out into an Afro. Assata Shakur: Black militant, fugitive cop killer, terrorist threat... or escaped slave? She Killed a New Jersey Cop 40 Years Ago. The BLA were an underground group made up mostly of former Black Panther Party members (BPP) and existed as a black nationalist underground urban guerrilla group. In 2005, then President Fidel Castro said of Shakur: In the African American community, Shakur is regarded by many as a hero. An activist in black radical groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Shakur was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper in 1977, but supporters helped her escape prison and take refuge in Cuba. They dismissed or acquitted, over and over, and as Shakur waited to be tried on the murder and assault charges from the Turnpike shooting, civil rights groups began to see her as a symbol for courage in the face of oppression. Nadra Kareem Nittle is a journalist with bylines in The Atlantic, Vox, and The New York Times. ", She’s also been featured in films such as “Shakur, Eyes of the Rainbow” and “Assata aka Joanne Chesimard.”. She soon left the party, disliking the macho behavior of the men and believing that the BPP lacked knowledge and understandin… As a college student during the turbulent mid-1960s, Shakur joined Black activist group the Golden Drums and took part in a variety of rallies, sit-ins, and the fight for ethnic studies programs that swept the nation. Black Power. BLA members in prison as of January 2006, include the following: 1. On November 2, 1978, three BLA members took advantage of the poor security at Shakur’s prison and broke her out. On May 2, 1973, Shakur participated in a shoot-out on the New Jersey Turnpike that resulted in the death of one state trooper and the wounding of another. On May 2, 1973, Shakur participated in a shoot-out on the New Jersey Turnpike that resulted in the death of one state trooper and the wounding of another. As a Political Science major, I am afforded the opportunity to take some interesting classes. By framing the Black Liberation Army as a perpetual fighting force that will continue to exist until Black freedom is fully actualized, and by including people from “all walks of life” as its members, Assata defines the group’s ongoing purpose and invitation to participate in … But the trial was finally carried out in 1977. Spouse: Louis Chesimard Legacy: Shakur is regarded by many as a hero and her story has inspired … The Black Liberation Army stands for freedom and justice for all people." Politicians such as President Donald Trump and former New Jersey Gov. Assata was a Black Panther then a Black Liberation Army (BLA) leader in the early '70s, so she was a target of the FBI's COINTELPRO. Her medical predicament was also an issue, as she became pregnant with the child of fellow inmate and BLA member Kamau Sadiki. Assata Olugbala Shakur is an American ex-member of the ‘Black Liberation Army,’ murder convict, and fugitive, who is on the ‘Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) list of most-wanted terrorists, as “Joanne Deborah Chesimard” (marriage surname). The New Jersey Court of Appeals ultimately ruled that Assata Shakur had not fully exhausted remedies that were available to her at a state level. Dhoruba bin-Wahad, formerly of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, also a former political prisoner as part of the Panther 21, joined us once again to discuss the story of Kamau Sadiki, Assata Shakur and the BLA in part to amend popular histories but to also offer clarity and inspiration to those becoming active today. Assata Olugbala Shakur (born July 16, 1947 as JoAnne Deborah Byron) is an African-American activist.She was a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army.She was put into prison, but in 1984 she managed to escape.She now lives in Havana, Cuba, as a fugitive.She was the first woman to be put on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.