How Assata Shakur Changed My Life: The Importance Of Ethnic Studies Curricula In High School And Beyond

Moorbey'z Blog

By Tala Khanmalek

Dedicated to Miss Sonja Roberts.

Assata“I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know anything at all,”
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.

I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
And in the fire of truth.”

Assata Shakur

I read Assata by Assata Shakur when I was 14 years old and it changed my life forever. Her autobiography offered me a historical context for my experiences and those of my immigrant family that I was not learning about in school. Most importantly, it offered me a critical vocabulary—of terms like racism, oppression, liberation, and revolutionary—to name what I had been feeling, but had no words to describe. It was through Shakur’s story that I began to…

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