The U.S. and Cuba and the Story of Assata Shakur

In 1973 a young woman by the name of Joanne Chesimard was involved in the fatal shooting of a police officer in New Jersey.

Chesimard, who was a member of the Black Panther Party claimed her innocence, but was convicted to a life sentence a few years later.

But she escaped and made her way into Cuba, where she has lived ever since. Since then she changed her name to Assata Shakur and became a kind of vigilante folk hero of sorts.

But with the thawing of diplomatic tensions between the US and Cuba, New Jersey officials, including governor Chris Christie, have called for her capture and return.

We talk about her story with Joshua Guild, Associate professor of History and African American Studies at Princeton.

Listen to the interview

More by this author

Inviting Final Thoughts (Focus Vol. I)
How does Black Lives Matter cross borders?
Why has “Black Lives Matter” — as slogan, as hashtag, as rallying cry — been taken up so widely?
If They Take You in the Morning, They Will be Coming for Us That Night

More work like this

'The Future of Race' Discussion on Charlie Rose
Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates Jr.
The Way Forward: Post Obama in the Trump Era
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Christina Greer, Rebecca Carroll, Carol Jenkins
Dealing with Race in Literature
Toni Morrison
What it Means to be an American
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Upcoming Events

Anita Hill Lecture
Apr 10, 2019 @ 4:30 pm