Happy bEarthday Assata!!

Peace, love, and light as always! Today is the day we celebrate the bEarth of one of personal heroines and one of the most famous revolutionaries, Assata Obugala Shakur. I was first introduced to Assata by dear friend years ago. He was one of the few people that I could converse with on topics such as social change, revolution, ancestral blueprints left by some of our beloved heroes such as Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X etc. One day when we were kicking it at his house, he placed her autobiography Assata in my hands and my perspective on life changed. Assata’s story was very important in my development as a revolutionary Afrikan wombman. Her story illustrated her growth and development from Joanne to Assata and in the same token, I have grown from Andre’a to Ashaki.

I actually purchased the book about six months ago and reread it. New jewels were garnered for me re-reading the book this time. On this literary journey, I gained a fresh perspective on embracing my culture even more as well as legalities and the system that has raped and murdered indigenous people in this country for years. I feel her book should definitely be required reading for all Afrikan people across the entire diaspora. Her personal story of struggle against the machinations of white supremacy and the illustration of blatant racism within the Amerikkkan judicial system is a testament to the undeniable strength and inextinguishable spirit of Afrikan people.  In times such as these, when we are continually exposed and victimized by videos of police murdering our people with no repercussions, violent crimes ravaging our communities, our women being seen as overly sexualized sex puppets, preschool to prison pipeline, and the list goes on, it is easy to become disheartened and overcome with feelings of hopelessness. But, we must hold fast to the spirit of all of those who have come before us and apply the wisdom provided to us by Assata and all of our other elders.

We must continue to fight and we can never give up on ourselves or our people. We have to learn that our identity is completely tied to Mother Afrika and our hearts beat to the rhythm of the drums of the whole of the diaspora. This wombman was assaulted, abused, beaten, shackled, shot, and almost murdered but she persevered. Assata faced an impossible situation but she never gave up and she never gave in. And neither shall we! In the words of sistar-queen-goddess Assata “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains. “



Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

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