In 1998, New Jersey state troopers sent Pope John Paul II a letter asking him to call for the extradition of former Black Panther Assata Shakur, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 1973 murder of a New Jersey state trooper. In 1979, she broke out from prison, and now lives in exile in Cuba. In this open letter addressed to the Pope, Assata tells her side of the story.
Democracy Now! aired Shakur reading aloud this letter in 1998.
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Source: SoundCloud / Rockie Fresh
Made to believe that we know nothing.
Taught from the start that we owe something.
Walked in the dark til my mind caught a spark,
And now I search for what I lost because they stole something.
Where’s the “ME” that used to own something?
And where’s the “YOU” that didn’t know fronting?
Internet babies unaware the Internet’s shady.
They’re stuck inside the matrix, all they know is ’stuntin’.
Meditate, Your mind can grow from it.
Never forced, This is so reluctant.
But it’s gotta be said,
’Cause my biology says,
That I’m the greatest,
But the papers never told me nothing…
The Flame of Ambition
A great fire rises.
Luminous beauty soars
A dream burning with light.