Happy Born Day to Assata Shakur

16 Jul

Today, July 16, 2009, is Mother Assata Shakur’s Birthday. For those of you who do not know this brilliant, beautiful, warrior, sister, New Yorker, is a Black Panther who was unjustly arrested for allegedly killing a New Jersey State trooper, along with several other alleged crimes. While in prison she became pregnant and before giving birth she escaped prison and has had political asylum in Cuba since 1984.

If you want to know more about her early life and about her involvement in the Panther Party and the Black Liberation Movement, her autobiography is a good place to start. AssatabioSeveral years ago, I was invited to a private screening of her documentary entitled, “Eyes of the Rainbow”, the film really moved me and inspired me to write a poem. I have been wanting to give her this poem for the longest while, but her location is top secret because the United States has a million dollar bounty on her head… Anyway, I just wanted to wish the 62 years old warrior a Happy Born Day and I hope that wherever she is, she is happy, blessed, at peace, and allowed to be a mother to her children… The process for writing this poem was a direct inspiration from Assata’s words and wisdom… I love and thank you you Assata for your bravery in sharing your life and your story. Here is a poem for you:

“For Assata Shakur After Watching Eyes of the Rainbow”

I have learned to inhale the earth’s hemp.
Make knots in-between spaces of rope
Gym class never taught me to climb.

Progressives and public schools who keep our hands tied.
So, we aim for stars shaped like netted hoops, or
Shoot for heaven via veins.

I remember, when I slept walked
In and out periods of ringing bells:
Liberty’s death

Funerals of heritage
Considered hobbies
Regents testing our assimilation

Piecing history into a shapeless puzzle
Never taken out of the box, so
We stay stuck on the block

Trying to untie morning lies and mental detectors
Swearing our hearts to a hanging flag, with
No allegiance to life.

Those awake
Still snuggle in blankets of torn stripes,
Stitching up wounds of almost revolutionaries

Few seem to live through the ghost of the Sun’s continent
But there are traces of light in capoeira, shoutin’ in church,
Rebel armies gathering for prose/ tired of loosing just to gain humanity

Textbooks try to kill us all
In some ways they have

Made black as good as gold
Traded and molded
Seasoned over fires
Melted into pawns.

They dared us never to look back
Towards the abyss of Atlantic water
Flowing waves of salty tears

Of gods who cry over themselves
Ashamed and proud

Because they know the majesty
Behind the veil of water
To the East.

**** All Rights Reserved to the author Judith Angeles***

Be Well in Writing,


P.S. Some other good websites for Assata Shakur are www.handsoffassata.org and www.assatashakur.org

Also, a snippet of the documentary brought to you via youtube 😉 … I want my to make my ancestors proud!

One Response to “Happy Born Day to Assata Shakur”

  1. Kaliente July 22, 2009 at 12:44 am #

    Deep. I’mma have to check those links out.

    Loved the poem! thanks for the notification of the new spot!

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