ASSATA SHAKUR: A 20th CENTURY ESCAPED SLAVE
Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Barbara Casey, author of “Assata Shakur”.
In May 1973, Assata 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 led to her indictment of the first-degree murder of Foerster and seven other felonies related to the shootout.
This, however, wasn’t her first indictment. A member of the Black Panther Party, Shakur became a prime target of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterintelligence Program. When she joined the Black Liberation Army and went into hiding, between 1973 and 1977 she was placed on the FBI’s 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. During the next four years following the New Jersey Turnpike incident, Shakur was held in detention as the trials for the indictments brought while she was underground either ended in acquittal or were dropped because of lack of evidence.
Shakur’s imprisonment and what many of her supporters believed was a false arrest brought international attention to her plight as a political prisoner. In March 1977 Assata Shakur was convicted of murdering state trooper Werner Foerster and was imprisoned at the maximum security prison for women in Alderson, West Virginia.
Two years later she broke out of the maximum-security prison. 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 her life on the run since then. Whatever your opinion of Assata Shakur, one must agree that it is life worth living with important lessons for American society.
Barbara Casey is a partner in Strategic Media Books and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. She is also a manuscript consultant and the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary adult novel, received several awards including the prestigious IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction. Her most recent nonfiction work, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs. www.BarbaraCaseyAgency.com