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Interview w/ Assata Shakur from Oct.24,2000
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
10/9/2003 11:11:00 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include 2Pac.

This is a interview with Assata Shakur, Tupac's aunt in exile in Cuba. It is from Oct. 24, 2000. Even though it is an older interview, it gives alot of insight to what took her to Cuba. It speaks on Alfeni and of course Tupac.

I found it to be a good informative piece and thought I'd drop it here for you to check out. One thing that struck me is she says "If you don’t believe that the FBI has extensive files on every popular Rap artist, you probably believe in the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy. It’s a known fact that more than a few Rappers are under constant police surveillance".

Assata Shakur Speaks from Exile 

Post-modern maroon in the ultimate palenque 

An interview by Christian Parenti 24oct00

Christian Parenti teaches sociology at the New College of California in San Francisco.

What happens to old Black Panthers? Some wind up dead, like Huey P. Newton. Some join the Moonies and the Republican Party, like Eldridge Cleaver. Some, like Mumia Abu Jamal, languish in prison. But a few, like Assata Shakur, have taken the path of the "maroon," the runaway slave of old who slipped off the plantation to the free jungle communities known as "palenques."

Two decades ago Shakur was described as "the soul of the Black Liberation Army (BLA)," an underground, paramilitary group that emerged from the rubble of east coast chapters of the Black Panther Party. Among her closest political comrades was Ahfeni Shakur, Tupac Shakur’s mother. Forced underground in 1971, by charges that were later proved false, Assata was accused of being the "bandit queen" of the BLA; the "mother hen who kept them together, kept them moving, kept them shooting." The BLA’s alleged actions included: assassinating almost ten police officers, kidnapping drug dealers (one of whom turned out to be an FBI agent), and robbing banks from coast to coast.

Throughout 1971 and 1972 "Assata sightings" and wild speculation about her deeds were a headline mainstay for New York tabloids. Then, in 1973, Shakur and two friends were pulled over by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike. During the stop, shooting erupted. A trooper and one alleged BLA member were killed, another trooper was slightly hurt and Assata—or Miss Joanne Chesimard, as authorities preferred to call her—was severely wounded by a blast of police gunfire. Left to die in a paddy wagon, she survived only to be charged for the trooper’s death and sentenced to life in prison.

During the next six years (much of it spent in solitary confinement), Shakur beat a half dozen other indictments. In 1979—after giving birth in prison, only to have her daughter taken away in less than a week—Assata Shakur managed one of the most impressive jailbreaks of the era. After almost a year in a West Virginia federal prison for women, surrounded by white supremacists from the Aryan Sisterhood prison gang, Shakur was transferred to the maximum security wing of the Clinton Correctional Center in New Jersey. There she was one of only eight maximum security prisoners held in a small, well-fenced cellblock of their own. The rest of Clinton—including its visiting area—was medium security and not fenced in.

According to news reports at the time, Shakur’s November 2 escape proceeded as follows: Three men—two black, one white—using bogus drivers licenses and Social Security cards, requeste

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