Author: Barbara Casey
Publisher: Strategic media Books
Publishing Date: 2017
In May 1973, Assata Olugbala Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and assaulting Trooper James Harper. This resulted in her indictment of first-degree murder of Foerster and seven other felonies related to the shootout. A member of the Black Panther Party, she became a prime target of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Counterintelligence Program. When she joined the Black Liberation Army and went into hiding, between 1973 and 1977, she was placed on the FBIs Most Wanted List for three bank robberies, the kidnapping and murder of two drug dealers, and the attempted murder of two New Jersey police officers. In March 1977 Assata Shakur was convicted of murdering state trooper Werner Forrester and was imprisoned. Two years later she broke out of the maximum-security wing of Clinton Correctional Facility in New Jersey, pistol in hand, as she and three cohorts sped out of the prison grounds. In 1984 she was granted political asylum in Cuba where she has lived ever since. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List, the first woman to be listed. "Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave" is the story of Assata Shakur, before she became a fugitive and since.
(From the book)
Barbara Casey's numerous award-winning novels include THe Gospel Accordign to Prissy, the House of Kane, The Coach's Wife, The Cadence of Gypsies, and The Wish Rider. She also has another work of nonfiction, Kathryn Kely: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, which has been optioned for a movie. and television series. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant for independent publishers and writers, and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, established in 1995, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Fitz, a miniature dachshund; and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.
Connect with the author: Website
Prior to this book, I have never heard of Assata Shakur who, apparently has some relation to the infamous rapper, Tupac Shakur. I didn't know who she was, nor what role she has played in various governments. It's actually a first time I'm trying out a true crime read. The book may look slim but its filled with a lot of interesting information, especially how it seems history tends to repeat itself because even back then, people of African-American descent fought over police brutality as well as equality, or lack of equality. What worked for me is that the subject matter as well as the research are very well done in presenting the '60s and tactics used by African-American groups and the government agencies. I also was intrigued by the symbol that Assata Shakur became as well as the tough decision that government of Cuba as well as government of US have to overcome. Should the bygones be bygones or should Assata still be judged by her previous deeds? While the story worked as a big picture, for me it didn't work as a small picture because I feel that I didn't really get to know Assata Shakur as a person, and it feel as if the insider perspective is lacking because a lot of her formative years prior to her extradition to Cuba the story is all tell and very little show.
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3 out of 5(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)