Hip Hop artists Drake and Megan Thee Stallion channel the Shakur spirit in response to the murder of George Floyd.
The footage of 46-year-old George Floyd restrained by Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, has understandably shocked the world. With Chauvin’s knee wedged upon Floyd’s neck for several minutes, Floyd says that he is unable to breathe. After being taken to taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, George Floyd died as a result of Derek Chauvin’s actions.
President Donald Trump urged “healing” over the death of George Floyd however the Country and world obviously are angry. Consequently, looters have emptied shops, cars burned and buildings attacked.
The reaction to decades of racism and police brutality has come to the forefront and grabbed the world’s attention.
Assata Shakur, born JoAnne Chesimard in 1947, is a former Black Liberation Army and Black Panther member. Her main role within the Black Panther Party was to organize protests and also education programs.
Her political activism didn’t stop there despite challenges. After years of protesting against the criminalization of Black nationalist organizations, Assata engaged in an armed struggle against the US government. Tactics such as robbing banks and killing police officers and drug dealers were used specifically.
In 1973, after allegedly driving in a vehicle with other BLA members which had a faulty brake light, it was stopped by a white New Jersey State Trooper. A confrontation ensued, as a result, the State Trooper was fatally shot. Eventually convicted of the murder of the Trooper, she received a life sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility for Women. Furthermore, in 1972, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. Finally gaining political asylum in Cuba, Assata Shakur now resides there.
In addition to Drake, Megan Thee Stallion also took inspiration from a Shakur interview. The ‘Savage’ rapper posted a snippet of Tupac’s 1994 MTV interview, which is often considered one of Tupac’s best.
“We asked ten years ago. We was asking with the Panthers. We was asking with the Civil Rights Movement. We was asking. Those people that asked are dead or in jail. So now what do you think we’re gonna do? Ask?,” Tupac said in the memorable interview.
Assata’s Full Affirmation
I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And I believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
And I have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.
I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.
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.
And I believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home