Assata: An Autobiography

"We receive fragments of unrelated knowledge, and our education follows no logical format or pattern. It is exactly this kind of education that produces people who don’t have the ability to think for themselves and who are easily manipulated." (Shakur 35)

Assata examines the journey from the stage of innocence to freedom for one Black woman living in America. This extraordinary tale of fighting the system instead of becoming a part of it. The importance of self-identity became the foundation for Assata Shakur’s journey to liberation; despite victimization at an early age, she grew to find the importance of being at peace in her own skin, as well as being at peace with her own skin.

"I wanted to be an amerikan just like any other amerikan. I wanted a piece of amerika’s apple pie. I believed we could get our freedom just by appealing to the consciences of white people[…] When the national anthem was played or the pledge of allegiance spoken, i stood at attention and felt proud. I don’t know what in the hell I was feeling proud about…" (Shakur 139)

After reading her story for the first time in high school, I began to not only question my entire educational experience, I began to question my purpose in life. Assata was the first book I read that truly addressed the experiences of Blacks in America, but also the treatment of Black women, our role in major movements, our definitions of beauty, our value. Her unique writing style, use of vocabulary even challenge literary norms. American outlaw or not, Assata Shakur's autobiography is a must-have for anyone who wants to hear another side of the story.

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