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she is a heroine.
she is a guide through the struggle.
she is the light upon darkness.

joanne chesimard, was a student in new york city when she joined a community rooted in the liberation of the people, also known as the black panther party. in 1970 she joined the black liberation army & transformed her identity with a new name, ASSATA OLUGBALA SHAKUR, which translates to “she who struggles for the people and the thankful one.” a year later she joined the republic of new afrika. she protested against injustices and demonstrated resilience and hope in sit-ins. assata also helped influence free breakfast programs within the black panther movement. needless to say, assata shakur is a woman of desperate yearning for justice of all. assata and many other political activists were being targeted and harrassed by the agency, COINTELPRO, which was heavily influenced by FBI director, j. edgar hoover.

in 1973 assata shakur, sundiata acoli, and zayd shakur were stopped by state troopers, james harper and werner foerster, on the new jersey turnpike in east brunswick for a “faulty tail light.” zayd was murdered. trooper foerster was murdered. trooper harper was wounded. assata was wounded twice, and sundiata fled the scene but was captured two days later. sundiata and assata were both charged with the murder of state trooper foerster but the medical examinations and the evidence supports the fact that it’s highly improbable either one of them could have shot trooper foerster. they were convicted in 1977 and sent to prison immediately.

assata was sent to all male prisons were she was tortured and beaten severely. she was subject to solitary confinement for a total of two years. soon before she fled the hell-like prison cells, she was moved to an all women prison in new jersey where she was treated horribly. she broke out of that prison in 1979 with the help of her brother, mutulu shakur and other political activists.

assata fled to cuba in 1984 and was granted political asylum by fidel castro with help from the geneva convention. she was subsequently placed on the FBI’s most wanted list, with a $1 million bounty for her capture. on the anniversary of trooper foerster’s death, may 2, 2013, the attorney general, jeffrey chiesa, announced that the state of new jersey had doubled the bounty reward. assata shakur has been named the first woman and second person of the united states ever to be added to the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list.

the injustice is so unreal it seems fictionalized. assata is a vessel through which we have to fight for truth. she is the epitome of black pride. she is a blinding light in a room full of darkness. please, help keep assata free. petition to president obama to exercise his executive power under article 2 section 2, which states that he has the authority to grant reprieves for offenses against the U.S.

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