Assata’s autobiography is one of my favourite memoirs for multiple reasons. I actually had accidentally stumbled upon her autobiography when I was researching for a paper about sexism in the Black Panther Party. A year later, I decided to commit myself to read it in its entirety. In her autobiography, Shakur discusses motherhood, activism, and her life as black woman.
Shakur focuses on the complexities and struggles of being a black woman in racist America, and how all the aspects of her life affected one another. After experiencing racism and suffering from the struggles and turmoil of being a black woman, she decided to become a Black Panther Party member. During her time in the Black Panther Party and while participating in the civil rights movement, she felt empowered that her black community was taking positive action against poverty and systemic racism.
From the text alone you can feel Shakur’s resilience, passion, strength and her dedication to the civil rights movement.
Shakur expresses how unjust the American justice system was to her, and how it does not favour its black citizens, and proves that incarceration is just slavery in disguise.
Her story is not always positive, but that is what makes her so authentic because she was more concerned with telling her truth. She used her autobiography to reclaim her voice and provide the true reality of a black woman living in a racist America.
One lesson that readers will grasp from Shakur was that, in a place and country where she was meant to feel powerless and weak, Shakur remained dedicated to her fight for civil rights and equality. She is now an iconic female civil rights activist and her legacy still exists and is celebrated, even while there’s a two million reward for her capture.
You can purchase her autobiography by clicking on the links below: