Emily's Reviews > Assata: An Autobiography

Assata by Assata Shakur
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Dec 30, 2007

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Read in October, 2007

We're supposed to trust the state as part of some social contract we allegedly signed. We're supposed to look to it for protection and support when we're most vulnerable. If I learned anything from this book, it's that your positionality has everything to do with how you view the state. Some people have their rose-colored glasses forcibly removed.

Shakur tells the story of a state that is anything but trustworthy. She writes about abuse at the hands of Nazi New Jersey policemen as well as how the CIA deliberately intimidated and undermined Black activists, especially those affiliated with the Black Panther Party. Her story dispels any romantic notion of a benevolent, "multi-cultural" America. Instead, we're able to see the state through Shakur's eyes, for the role it has traditionally played, the infinitely more powerful side of a covert war raging against Black people.
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