Assata Shakur Speaks!

Source: Assata Shakur Speaks!

Assata Shakur: The government’s terrorist is our community’s heroine

by Mos Def

Early in May, the federal government issued a statement in which they labeled Joanne Chesimard, known to most in the Black community as Assata Shakur, as a domestic terrorist. In so doing, they also increased the bounty on her head from $150,000 to an unprecedented $1,000,000.

Viewed through the lens of U.S. law enforcement, Shakur is an escaped cop-killer. Viewed through the lens of many Black people, including me, she is a wrongly convicted woman and a hero of epic proportions.

Assata (“she who struggles”) Olugbala ( “for the people” ) Shakur (“the thankful one”), and I am a 20th century escaped slave.


The origin of the word – Slave – Online Etymology Dictionary

I had always doubted that the word, slave, was the root of the ethnic origin, slavic. It seemed unlikely to me that even a conquered people would refer to their culture with the word.
Turns out I was looking at it backwards. The whites used the word slavic in reference to their slaves. Actually, the similarity in the 2 words just underscores the ancient practice of domination, explotation, and manipulation that the dominant use effectively against external groups, often based on ethnic designations.

slave (n.)

late 13c., “person who is the property of another,” from Old French esclave (13c.), from Medieval Latin Sclavus “slave” (cf. Italian schiavo, French esclave, Spanish esclavo), originally “Slav” (see Slav), so called because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples. This sense development arose in the consequence of the wars waged by Otto the Great and his successors against the Slavs, a great number of whom they took captive and sold into slavery. [Klein] Old English Wealh “Briton” also began to be used in the sense of “serf, slave” c.850….


Balaclava | Lexical Investigations at

I have mispronounced this word so many times.


Balaclavas and cardigans have more in common than keeping you warm—they both owe their names to the Crimean War. During the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, British troops were underprepared for the cold Ukrainian winter, and unlike their French counterparts, who were allowed to wear as many layers as required to stay warm, the British were expected to adhere to their uniforms. The poor conditions caused a scandal in Britain and motivated civilians to donate money and knit warm clothing for the troops using government-issued patterns and regulation yarn, including a wool cap to be worn under their helmets. The British referred to these caps as Balaclava helmets, and later just called them balaclavas. Troops were also issued button-down woolen jackets, which were named after the Lord of Cardigan, who led their ill-fated charge known as the Light Brigade against the Russians.

via Lexical Investigations: Balaclava | The Hot Word | Hot & Trending Words Daily Blog at

History of the Makhnovist Movement (1918-1921): Chapter 8

I have been struggling with the idea of “partisans” ever since I first heard the term used to dismiss the Makhnovshchina. Calling the insurgents of Ukraine simply partisans is so imprecise. What kind of army tries to comfort and reconcile with enemy combatants as soon as the shooting stops?

The Soviet authorities and their agents often depicted the Makhnovists as pitiless assassins, giving long lists of soldiers of the Red Army and members of the Communist Party put to death by them. But the authorities were always silent about the essential fact, namely about the circumstances in which these soldiers or Party members had been killed. They were always victims of combats started or provoked by the Communists themselves, combats which were forced on the Makhnovists when they were cornered by the Bolsheviks. War is war; there are always victims on both sides. But the Makhnovists understood perfectly that they were making war, not against the soldiers of the Red Army as a group or against any of them individually, but against the handful of rulers who directed this mass, who disposed of them, and who valued the life of a Red soldier only to the extent that it was useful for the preservation of their power. This is why, although they often struggled bitterly against the Red Army units, once the battle was over the Makhnovists related to the soldiers of the Red Army with the same spirit of brotherhood and friendship which characterized relations among themselves.

via History of the Makhnovist Movement (1918-1921): Chapter 8. (P. Arshinov, 1922)

Kyriarchy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kyriarchy is a social system or set of interlocking social systems built around domination, oppression, and submission. The word itself is is a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza to describe interconnected, interacting, and self-extending systems of domination and submission, in which a single individual might be oppressed in some relationships and privileged in others.[1] It is an intersectional extension of the idea of patriarchy[1] beyond gender. Kyriarchy encompasses sexism, racism, economic injustice, and other forms of dominating hierarchy in which the subordination of one person or group to another is internalized and institutionalized.[2]. It is closely related to the concept of dominating hierarchy within social ecology and anarchist theory.

via Kyriarchy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.




1.  making or having a harsh sound; grating; creaking: strident insects; strident hinges.
2.  having a shrill, irritating quality or character: a strident tone in his writings.
3.  Linguistics . (in distinctive feature analysis) characterized acoustically by noise of relatively high intensity, as sibilants, labiodental and uvular fricatives, and most affricates.
1650–60;  < Latin strīdent-  (stem of strīdēns ), present participle of strīdēre  to make a harsh noise; see -ent

Related forms

stri·dence, stri·den·cy, noun
stri·dent·ly, adverb
non·stri·dent, adjective
o·ver·stri·dence, noun
o·ver·stri·den·cy, noun
o·ver·stri·dent, adjective
o·ver·stri·dent·ly, adverb
un·stri·dent, adjective
un·stri·dent·ly, adverb

Million Hoodies Can’t be Wrong

What happened to Trayvon happens to kids everyday. By all accounts, he sounds like a really cool kid. That makes this even more tragic. The situation is egregious because the outcome was a young man was stalked and killed for no reason. Now the debate becomes whether or not a person has the right to stand his ground? That’s a shame because we really need debate about the entire concept of “good shootings”

Tell them not to kill for walking while black

Cops shouldn’t be allowed to kill black men just because they can sincerely attest that they fear for their lives when confronted by a member of a group historically oppressed by police. Of course they should fear for their lives. History provides centuries of good reason for white men’s fear and guilt.

I feel the same way about Trayvon’s killer. I have no doubt that his killer was motivated primarily by fear. Fear doesn’t mean killing randomly is okay. There has to be an actual threat for there to be a claim of self-defense. The reality is that Trayvon had no weapon. Trayvon was being stalked by some random guy at night. The claim of self-defense is clearly with Trayvon.

Since the only opinions that matter in the justice system are those of white men or people who aspire to be white men, I’m not shocked that the debate gets turned around from public safety to whether it is reasonable for a wannabe white man to be fearful.