Assata Shakur - An Open Letter

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  • My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave.  
  • Although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been. 
  • In 1977, I was convicted by an all white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. 
  • In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison...
  • ...aided by my committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life.
  • I am more concerned with the rise of the prison industrial complex which is turning our people into slaves again. 
  • It has been a long time since I have lived in the U.S. 
  • But during my lifetime I have seen every prominent Black leader, politician, or activist come under attack by the establishment media.
  • The news is big business and it's owned & operated by affluent white people. Unfortunately, they shape the way many people see the world, and even the way people see themselves. 
  • Like most poor and oppressed people in the US, I do not have a voice.
  • Black people, poor people in the US have no real freedom of speech, no real freedom of expression, and very little freedom of the press. 
  • I am only one woman. I own no TV stations, or Radio stations, or Newspapers. 
  • But I feel that people need to be educated as to what is going on, and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in Amerika.
  • All I have is my voice...
  • my spirit...
  • and the will to tell the truth. 
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