Assata: An Autobiography (Paperback)

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Assata: An Autobiography Cover Image
By Assata Shakur, Angela Davis (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

This book tells the story of Assata Shakur formely known as Joann Byron. She is a revolutionay African'-American woman who fought with the Black Panther Party in the 1970's against systemic,enviormental,institutional,structual and indivisual racism. Shakur vulnerably takes her readers on a emotinal yet thought proviking ride about her life; starting with her childhood in New York and North Carolina leading into her becoming FBI's Most Wanted. Shakur's amazing story telling , sharp words, fearless nature and passion to fight for what's right makes this book a page turner.

— From Alexis' Picks


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.  

Praise For…

"A deftly written book . . . A spellbinding tale."  —The New York Times Book Review

"A sober, restrained, but forceful recollection. . . . A must book for those interested in the 'revolutionaries' of the 1960s" —Choice

"A compelling tale of the impact of white racism on a sensitive and powerful young black woman." —Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781556520747
ISBN-10: 1556520743
Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books
Publication Date: November 1st, 1999
Pages: 320
Language: English