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Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur – Summer 2023 Book Club Selection

Our summer book club selection is Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur, an American political activist who was a member of the Black Liberation Army.

The summer club runs from Jun 1 – August 31. We have a recommended reading schedule and forum for weekly discussion. Check out our Assata Shakur Cheatsheet before starting the book. It gives a brief overview of her life.

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Book Summary

“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.”

✨ Some links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, TBE will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. 

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