Talk:Assata Shakur

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Featured article Assata Shakur is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 29, 2008.
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What does the 'people' section mean?[edit]

Some of those listed were born after she was in Cuba. Others are contemporaries, maybe influences. And at least one was in Cuba with her.

[edit]

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Consistency of subject's name[edit]

It was disconcerting to read this article and find that the subject's name changes, sometimes from one sentence to the next. She is referred to as Assata (in violation of use of first name), Shakur, Byron, and Chesimard. There appears to be no consistency, even in historical context. I suggest that she be referred to as Shakur throughout, since that is how she is named in the title. Akld guy (talk) 21:52, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

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James Harper perjury[edit]

This article states, in wikipedia's voice, that James Harper admitted perjury on the stand. Harper appears to be a blp http://nypost.com/2017/06/16/wounded-trooper-wants-cuba-to-return-cop-killer-to-us/

The sources for this claim are: 1) NYTimes op-ed by a Shakur advocate says "lied". This may support inclusion of "Taylor, a supporter of Shakur says Harper lied" but it is not a claim the Times is making in its own voice. 2) Joy James's book. James sources the claim to the foreword to Shakur's autobiography, and makes *no* claim to having independently checked this claim. Once again, this is a source that is unashamedly pro-Shakur and should be treated as such. 3) Alix Kirsta article in the Times (from 1999, over two decades later). Quality unknown.

OTOH, the New York Times and other local newspapers covered the trials at the time. You'd think that Harper admitting perjury on the stand would make it into their coverage, but I can't find anything. This article is very tender to Shakur, and carefully describes her only as a "convicted" murderer, even though she was convicted in a court of law. Why are we directly accusing Harper of perjury, who was never tried let alone convicted, with such flimsy sourcing? NPalgan2 (talk) 21:41, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Does this article really merit FA status?[edit]

Here is an entire paragraph: "Trooper Harper's official reports state that after he stopped the Pontiac, he ordered Acoli to the back of the vehicle for Trooper Foerster—who had arrived on the scene—to examine his driver's license.[146] The reports then state that after Acoli complied, and as Harper was looking inside the vehicle to examine the registration, Trooper Foerster yelled and held up an ammunition magazine as Shakur simultaneously reached into her red pocketbook, pulled out a nine-millimeter weapon and fired at him.[146] Trooper Harper's reports then state that he ran to the rear of his car and shot at Shakur who had exited the vehicle and was firing from a crouched position next to the vehicle.[146]"

This entire paragraph is sourced to assatashakur.org! This information may or may not have been contentious at the trial, but a wikipedia article should not rely on assatashakur.org for sourcing, let alone an FA. The article was promoted in 2008. Considering the James Harper perjury issue (see above), I have little confidence in the process that led to this article's promotion. I am going to put this article up for review. NPalgan2 (talk) 21:52, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Another example[edit]

This article says: "The prosecution contended that Shakur shot and killed her companion, Zayd Shakur, and "executed" Trooper Foerster with his own weapon.[131]"

From the NYTimes article cited: “He [Foerster] was executed with his own weapon,” Mr. Barone said. Trooper James Harper was wounded in the exchange and a companion of Mrs Chesimard was shot dead…. Police authorities contend that Mrs. Chesimard shot and killed Mr. Costan [Zayd Shakur], who had been wounded in the exchange of gunfire with Trooper Harper."

Police authorities is not the same as 'prosecution'. The police may have said Assata killed Zayd, but the NYTimes does not support saying the prosecution at the trial said this. NPalgan2 (talk) 22:27, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Literal Nazi website referenced[edit]

This article links to COINTELPRO by Paul Wolf. But it was hosted on a Nazi website called Zionist Occupation Government's Nightmare: "This site is extremely politically incorrect. Zog's Nightmare promotes true National Socialist views. Website content is protected by American free-speech laws. Zog's NIghtmare can be scary to mentally-confused whites or the unclean hordes of the racially-challenged." WTF? NPalgan2 (talk) 13:29, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

In any case, is Paul Wolf a reliable source? We're supposed to be using reliable published sources, not word doc files floating around on random internet sites. NPalgan2 (talk) 13:31, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the reliability of the source generally, but I did edit the citation with a better (non-Nazi) link to the doc. Google Scholar is a pretty good source for alternative versions of articles like this. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 08:51, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Tupac[edit]

Assata Shakur (born JoAnne Byron) is often said to have been Tupac Shakur's(step) godmother/aunt.

  • Assata's mother's name was Johnson.
  • Her father's name was presumably Byron but I can't find any information about him)
  • Assata Shakur had one sister, Beverly born in 1952 after Assata's parents divorced.
  • Tupac's mother was Afeni Shakur (born Alice Wiliams, the daughter of Rosa Belle, a homemaker, and Walter Williams)
  • Mutulu Shakur, Tupac's stepfather, was born Jeral Williams. He is often said to have been Assata's (step)brother but I can't find a cite and it seems unlikely.
  • It just seems that Mutulu and Afeni were close friends of Assata and she is sometimes vaguely said to have been Tupac's godmother.

Can anyone do better? NPalgan2 (talk) 03:36, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

RNA undue weight?[edit]

The article, before I started working on it, says she joined the RNA (based on secondary source), but she just seems to have gone to a party and "become a citizen/got a new name" (like getting your fortune told?) and never thought about it again. reedit to make it clear her involvement was really peripheral unless there's evidence of more involvement? NPalgan2 (talk) 04:12, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

REMOVED NPalgan2 (talk) 19:33, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

Sourcing issues[edit]

Sourcing issues: Six times in the article Ward Churchill's book is cited. Churchill was fired for fabrication, so maybe we need a better source: "On May 16, 2006 the University released their findings; the Investigative Committee agreed unanimously that Churchill had engaged in "serious research misconduct", including falsification, fabrication, and two of the three allegations of plagiarism.[4] " NPalgan2 (talk) 06:39, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

Also cited 6 times is Langston University Gazette. Once again, not RS. NPalgan2 (talk) 06:59, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

Problem[edit]

The NYTimes says:

Trooper Harper said that Joanne D. Chesimard, 26, was seated in the right front seat of the car he stopped, Mr. Squire was in the right side of the rear seat of the two‐door automobile and their companion, James Costan, 32, who was killed in the shootout, was behind the wheel of their automobile, which bore Vermont license plates.

We follow this in the article, saying Zayd Shakur was driving, and obviously he was the one killed. But it seems that the NYT got it mixed up, because literally every other source says that Acioli was driving and was searched by Harper and Zayd and Assata were the passengers. NPalgan2 (talk) 01:44, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Note that later on in the article, we correctlysay: Trooper Harper's official reports state that after he stopped the Pontiac, he ordered Acoli to the back of the vehicle for Trooper Foerster—who had arrived on the scene—to examine his driver's license. (which contradicts the earlier part) NPalgan2 (talk) 01:46, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
FIXED NPalgan2 (talk) 01:53, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

More on supporters' reasoning?[edit]

Though this article has plenty of information about critiques of the U.S. government's actions against Shakur and about defenses of her, it has virtually no details about the many, many prominent people who find her to be inspiring and praiseworthy. Instead, such paeans are offered without the reasoning behind them. That raises more questions than it answers, since it's hard for many people to square such views with even those facts of her life that are not under dispute. A good example of this is the quote, "When I use Assata’s powerful demand in my organizing work, I always begin by sharing where it comes from." No mention is made of what demand is being referred to here. (The source links "demand" to an speech that has many recriminations, but - in my reading - no demands. The closest thing to one is, "There is, and always will be, until every Black man, woman, and child is free, a Black Liberation Army.") Likewise, the letter from Maxine Waters to Fidel Castro is linked to but its content is not used in the article. More from those who admire and defend her as a person, not just offer criminal defense of the charges she faced, is sorely missing from the article. Someone familiar with these (and sources for them) could improve the article greatly. Calbaer (talk) 03:12, 3 August 2017 (UTC)

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