The amazing activist who has been living in Cuba for the past 34 years is still on the most wanted terrorist list!
On May 2nd, 1973, Assata Shakur and two of her close friends (also part of the black liberation army), were stopped by two police officers. A few years later, Shakur was convicted on a murder charge of Trooper Forrester; one of the cops that died on the turnpike. According to the Guardian, she escaped from prison in 1979, and was given political asylum in Cuba. She was born in Queens, NY and grew up with her grandparents in Wilmington, North Carolina. She was constantly taught to maintain her pride and to remember that she was just as good as anybody else. She dropped out of high school to get a job. In 1964, her interest in civil rights really took off. Assata was accused of a number of alleged crimes, none of which had any value or truth. There is a collection of evidence that proves that Assata had not received a fair trial when she was convicted, and that the people involved were previously influenced. Before her conviction, Assata was part of the Black Panther Party and wanted to become a revolutionary. She traveled all over the country to escape the constant surveillance it seemed that she was under.
Assata Shakur is an incredible individual who has faced years of political persecution, physical and mental abuse, torture, unimaginable living circumstances, and extreme racism. She was targeted by COINTELPRO for years before her conviction, and it is extremely obvious that she did not commit the crimes she was accused of. It is clear that the only reason she was charged was due to the extremities of the racist culture in the U.S.
In 2013, Assata Shakur was added onto the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list. She is the first female who has been added. Because of the lack of evidence in her case, the severely bias judge and jury, and the progression this country has supposedly had since the 60’s and 70’s, it seems that she would be welcomed back into America with open arms and apologies. However, this is not the case and the government refuses to remove Assata from this list. On top of this, there is a 2 million dollar reward for her. It is hard to believe that Assata is in her 60’s, and still is thought of as a criminal instead of an inspiration. Hopefully within the next few years she will get the recognition that she deserves and this country will recognize how incredible she is and that the way she was treated was beyond horrible.
Story by Willow Schenk