Assata: An Autobiography
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 1998
Assata, is an autobiography that travels at a fast pace and it's hard to put down because you will truly anticipate the conclusion.
The book Assata gives great insight into the role that women played in the Black Panther Party and contrary to popular belief the women did not take the back seat.
The book is a journey through Assata's life. As a child she lived with her mother in New York and came down South (Wilmington, North Carolina to be exact) to visit her grandparents in the summer.
In Wilmington--home of the "Wilmington 10" and an 1898 coup d'etat(if you don't know about these events please ask somebody)--she got a first hand view of segregation. It is my opinion that her experiences as a child down South made her aware of the struggle of Black people.
She went through various rebellious phases as a young adult and eventually found her way to the Black Panther Party. From this point forward you begin to see through the eyes of a comrade in th! is movement.
The book deals with her expereinces with COINTELPRO (the U.S. counterintelligence program created to destablize certain civil rights organizations, particularly the BPP) to an incident on a New Jersey turnpike that leaves two highway patrolmen dead.
Although she was sentenced to life in prison, she now resides in Cuba. To find out how she wound up there, I guess you will have to read the book.
Among other reasons, this book continues to be timely and relevant because Assata continues to be a war cry for supporters of tightened sanctions against "Castro's Cuba".
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2001
The autobiography of Assata Shakur ranks among the top of the list of books that citizens of the United States should read. This book shows the development of a young girl victimized by racism and sexism in the Jim Crow South and the "liberal" north into a warrior and freedom fighter. This book provides the reader with a living, breathing example of what happened to the victims of COINTELPRO. The story of her life, struggle, sacrifices, and victory should be as important as The Autobiography of Malcolm X in terms of its affect on future generations. This is a must read for ANYONE interested in understanding the Black Panthers, COINTELPRO, or the dual oppression of being a woman of African descent in the United States.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2000
The book is truly amazing. After reading it you should feel very enlightened (if not already) about the truths of the United States. Assata Shakur went through alot of things as to so many other black leader just for us. I'm a young black girl and I love Assata honestly with my whole heart. The book is tuly excellent I never wanted to put it down. I encourage everyone of every race to read it and to be open minded to the fact that its real. Just read it in the fact that if you have ever been in pain, Assata understands.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2001
I felt compelled to write this letter, because this book is how black people in amerika really struggled back in the the late 60's early 70's. As a black young female, I feel our youth today has no idea half of the drama that our ancestors went through. We need to take the time with our children and read the stories of yester year. It may seem harsh at first, but then when they realize the struggles from the past they will appreciate where they are now. I am so glad I read this book. If it wasn't for the brother Common, showing me the light, I don't think I would have ever heard of Assata Shakur. That's what we need, more youth sharing our history; good and bad. We need to look at our for ourselves. Don't be like me at 24 and just now starting to get into my true roots. But better late than never. Peace and blessing.#
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2004
This book really touched me. Assata takes you through life as she experienced it. She's shows us how the "American-Dream" can really be the "American-Nightmare!" I admire the strength in this woman. I feel her pain and understand her struggle. This book is a must read. I read this book when I was 21. I am now 23. Since then I've had my 14 year old sister read it as well as my 17 year old sister. Assata, has inspired me in more ways than she will ever know. I am a published author with my own publishing company, but I truly believe Assata helped inspire me to fight for what I believe in. This is a book the whole world should read! Not only should it be read; it should be studied and understood! Assata is a great, strong, inspiring woman. I can only hope I'm lucky enough to meet her one day... God willing, I will!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2001
Not nearly enough attention is being given to Assata's autobiography. Like the "Autobiography of Malcolm X", this is a powerfully written book about how an African activist person develops a cultural identity, whereby she pulls off the shackles of internalized racist views she is taught to have of herself and others to become someone who understands her cultural identity and it what it means to love one's self and her people.
This book should be taught to all African students in this country. It not only addresses important themes/issues about White supremacy and police brutality, but also more importantly how culture is a weapon against injustice.
We're lucky that Assata was able to escape the prison of America, for now we have her narrative as a source of inspiration and insight into what it means to develop a sense of self and to side with justice rather injustice.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2005
Assata opened my mind, heart and level of consciousness. While reading her story, I felt as though I had been transported through time and was experiencing every taunt, kick, ache and passion that she described. Her story is one that should be shared and discussed and I for one am grateful to have experienced her tale.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2000
this book was an inspiration, a must read for anyone interested in the last great wave of revolutionary activity in the us. assata sees revolution as emanating from the pulse & soul of the community, not from leaders at the top or from some revolutionary catechism. i hope to be able to meet & pay my respects to her in cuba one day. i also hope she'll one day be able to return to a liberated united states. peace.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 1999
This book has been my source of inspiration. Assata never gives up the fight, in spite of all the oppressive forces surrounding her. It is an excellent account of the other side of FBI conspiracy, you catch a glimpse of the person in the wanted posters. A definite must read for anyone interested in black nationalism and revolutionary forces.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2005
let start by saying; i hate autobiographies! yet two that have set my spirit on fire we Malcolm X's and Assata Shakur's. each opened my eyes to the struggles of the people during the 60's and 70's. showed the lengths the goverment went to to thwart the civil rights movement, the fight for equality and anyone involved.

So You Think Your a Revolutionary? well read this book and find out what a true Revolutionary is. Assata's book was deep because it's rare that we are able to read of the hardships faced by the SISTA's involved in the struggle. of how the goverment treated her like an animal, keeping her caged up for years while framing her for various crimes to which Assata wasnt involved. i loved how the sister remained strong during this time....had it been, i would have folded! what was REALLY GREAT is how Assata was honest about her time with the Black Panthers. for as great as the Panthers were, Assata lets you know....it wasnt all lovely on the inside. just reading this book made my blood boil and my mind fill with rage. funny thing is, the things that happened to Assata during the 70's are still happening today. funny how things change but remain the same.

Assata Shakur...Peace and Blessings to you sister. i am your humble student for life. thank you for opening my eyes to your struggle.
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