Assata: An Autobiography (Lawrence Hill & Co.) by Assata Shakur

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By Assata Shakur

This offers the existence tale of African American progressive Shakur, formerly referred to as JoAnne Chesimard.

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I waited awhile. When they calmed down, in a voice even shriller than before, i cried, "Naaaaaaeeeeee, naaaaeeeeeee, naaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeee. " They pointed their guns and actually walked backward, prepared to fire at anything moving. Then, quite by accident, my metal cup fell to the floor. Well, in a second they were down on the ground, crawl­ ing, holding their rifles. When i saw these fools crawling around on the ground like that, i just couldn't take it anymore. I laughed until i was sick. Great, big, bad police, crawling around scared of their own shadows.

When she put her hands on me, i kicked her or hit her. I don't remember which. Anyway, the next thing i knew i was in the principal's office being sent home with a note. I was scared to death my mother would find out, so i signed the note myself and brought it to school the next day. My signature didn't fool anybody. To make a long story short, when my mother found out i confessed everything and i told her about Mrs. Hoffler. I think she had some idea about what was going on because she had seen a change in me.

They volunteered to iron my uniforms and sneak them into the laundry to be washed more than once a week. When they told me their charges and the time they were doing, i couldn't believe it. Quite a few of them were doing time for the numbers, either six months or a year. In New York, doing time for number running was prac­ tically unheard of, and it certainly didn't get six months or a year. Everybody in the world knows that the numbers business keeps the cops fat. These women hadn't hurt anybody or stolen anything, yet they were sitting in jail, probably busted by the same cops that they paid off.

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