Black Leftists in amerika




Assata, An Autobiography (1987): 274 pages, Assata Shakur was a black panther (and later a member of the Black Liberation Army, a "urban guerrilla" group formed by former Panthers after the demise of the BPP), one of the most famous, who was framed up by the FBI like so many other black leftists in amerika. After being imprisoned for four years, comrades of hers broke her out of prison and several years later she escaped amerika altogether and claimed political asylum in Cuba, where she now lives. In her autobiography she describes her upbringing in the most racist country on earth, and also the time she was in prison being kept in unthinkable conditions, continuously forced to court to defend herself against charge after charge, all of them being invented by the FBI, and almost all of them defeated by Assata. The narrative of the autobiography switches regularly from detailing her childhood to describing her horrible time in prison. Also I should mention some well known relatives of Assata Shakur. Assata is Tupac Shakur's aunt, and many of his songs are dedicated to her, and Tupac's mother Afeni Shakur was also a Black Pantheress and was imprisoned while pregnant with Tupac on trumped up charges but was released before giving birth to Tupac. Tupac's stepfather Mutulu Shakur is one of the comrades who broke Assata out of prison. Anyway, in my opinion this book is very important, especially for showing the blatant racism and unjust nature of the amerikan "justice" system as well as it's prisons. I also think that the language this book uses is very interesting, and please take the time to notice when certain words are "misspelled," for Assata wrote this book in a sort of black power language. In other words, instead of writing America she writes amerikkka, and she often uses kourt instead of court. The kkk obviously referring the the Klu Klux Klan which is the most notorious fascist group in amerikkka, and who are and were responsible for many bombings and lynchings of Africans. The k in kourt could either refer again to the KKK, or perhaps more likely in this case is an abbreviation of kangaroo court. But you get the picture, so be sure to notice the unique language this book is written in.


Die Nigger Die! by H. Rap Brown (1969): 130 pages, before I present the book I would like to explain the off putting title, in Rap Brown's words: "Negroes and whites have wished death to all Blacks, to all niggers. Their sentiment is “Die Nigger Die!” – either by becoming a Negro or by institutionalization or active genocide." Rap Brown was a well known leader in the civil rights struggle and later became an important figure in the Black Panthers. This book doesn't just detail political struggle, it also documents life in the heart of the most racist country on earth, similar to the divide in Malcolm X's autobiography.


Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams (1962): 82 pages, documents how the black community in Monroe, North Carolina, under the leadership of Robert Williams, decided to take up the policy of violent self-defense. His account of the success of this policy goes to show how wrong the "so-called Negro leaders" (Malcolm X's phrase) were. Williams even documents an occasion were some of the non-violent "freedom riders" came to Monroe, and details how the level of white violence reached it's pinnacle against these non-violent activists, whereas the racist whites never had the guts to attack the black community of Monroe like that because they had armed themselves and weren't afraid to defend themselves. It is a powerful book that shows how wrong non-violent tactics are, and shows that violence is a necessity for any people who really intend to fight against racism (or for that matter imperialism). Not only did the black community in Monroe take up arms, but they succeeded time after time in their goals. This book had to be written in exile because the white racists in amerika would never allow a black man to preach violent self-defense without punishment and thus they cooked up a false charge against Williams and he had to flee to exile in Cuba.