An FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list that once included the likes of Osama Bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now includes its only woman, Joanne Chesimard, known to most as Assata Shakur.
To many, Shakur has reached celebrity status – mostly because of her very public case and partially because of her relation to slain rapper Tupac Shakur; she was his aunt. In May of 1973, the former Black Panther member was arrested and convicted of killing a New Jersey State Trooper in a wild shootout on a New Jersey Turnpike. She has been living in political asylum in
Thanks to the federal Freedom of Information Act, citizens were made aware of a program the FBI – under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover – enacted to “neutralize” Black leadership in
As a former member of the Panthers and her membership in the Black Liberation Army, Shakur was certainly on the government’s radar.
Was Assata Shakur a political dissident? Yes she was; just as most members of anti-establishment groups of the 1960s and ‘70s. But, the question of whether Assata Shakur –some three decades after her arrest – should be labeled a terrorist alongside a motley crew of Al-Qaeda members is debatable.