And I kept on getting up.
A little slower.
But a lot more deadly.?
?As the plane swooped down over Havana, it seemed that my heart was beating on my ribs to get out. My stomach hurt. My mouth was dry like cotton. It seemed like a million people poured off the plane before the tall little girl with the great big eyes started down the ramp. I could see my mother, looking frail, yet so determined. With my aunt behind her, looking triumphant.
How much had we all gone through. Our fight had started on a slave ship years before we were born. Venceremos, my favourite word in Spanish crossed my mind. Ten million people had stood up to the monster. Ten million people only ninety miles away. We were here together in their land, my small little family, holding each other after so long. There was no doubt about it, our people would one day be free. The cowboys and bandits did not own the world.?
?Excerpts from Assata.
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.