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Assata Shakur Response Paper

In: Historical Events

Submitted By austin191
Words 652
Pages 3
Assata Shakur has the most direct commentary out of all of the activists that we have

discussed. One can sense her urgency for the unity of black people and how her past experiences

shaped her into the person she is today. In Assata: An Autobiography, some of her most

intriguing comments were the comments about self-hatred in the black community. She is

adamant about addressing and fixing the self hate among black people. However, though

attempts have been made by organizations such as the BPP, activists like Malcolm X, and an

array of others to spread African American pride, the self-hate and jokes continue even today.

Shakur discusses and describes the hatred that blacks have within by mentioning the

tendency for blacks to insult other blacks for having features or characteristics that white people

have decided are unattractive or unacceptable.1 After reading that part, I began to wonder about

how different America actually is today? I connected to the part in which she mentions African

Americans going to the beach and complaining about being “too black already.”2 Growing up in

Cleveland, many of the black teens, myself included, complained about being in the sun for too

long because we didn’t want to become “too black.” My family actually made jokes about me

becoming too dark after I spent a summer at camp. Besides making jokes about color, many

black people insulted each other, most of the time in jest, about their lips and having “nappy”

hair. Even though these things were said comically, the fact that calling someone dark or saying

1 Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography (Lawrence Hill Books: Chicago), 2001, 30-32.

2 Ibid, 25.

they have big lips is deemed an insult, shows there are still stigmas today. Furthermore, the fact

that Shakur wrote this book over twenty years ago and...

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