Take Two®

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The US and Cuba and the story of Assata Shakur

by Take Two®

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Image of Joanne Chisimard, AKA Assata Shakur around the time of her murder trial Photograph: NY Daily News via Ge

 In 1973 a young woman by the name of Joanne Chesimard was involved in the fatal shooting of a police officer in New Jersey.

Chesimard, who was a member of the Black Panther Party claimed her innocence, but was convicted to a life sentence a few years later.

But she escaped and made her way into Cuba, where she has lived ever since. Since then she changed her name to Assata Shakur and became a kind of vigilante folk hero of sorts.

But with the thawing of diplomatic tensions between the US and Cuba, New Jersey officials, including governor Chris Christie, have called for her capture and return.

We talk about her story with Joshua Guild, Associate professor of History and African American Studies at Princeton.

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