Self-nomination. I'm nominating this article for featured article because it is a comprehensive and well-referenced biography of a somewhat controversial figure. It has been a good article for almost a year and underwent a peer review last October. It has been extremely stable since then. Savidan 01:24, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Comments I haven't given it a thorough readthrough yet, but some issues I see:
Please consistently use F.B.I. or FBI.
Please review the quotations to ensure that ending punctuation is placed outside the quote marks unless you are quoting a complete sentence (example: undertaken by a "kangaroo court.")
Please change the all-caps article titles to sentence case to improve readability (example: SYMPOSIUM CRITICAL LEGAL HISTORIES)
Examples of refs that need accessdates:
Williams, Houston. May 2, 2005. "U.S. Government Declares $1 Million Bounty For Assata Shakur, Tupac's Godmother." All Hip Hop News.
Daly, Michael. 2006, December 13. "The Msgr. & the Militant." New York Daily News.
Examples of refs that need publishers:
Ryan, Andrew J. "Tupac Shakur: Keeping it Real vs. Keeping it Right
Riley, Lisa. 2008, March 26. "Assata Shakur." The Gazette.
Is there a reason that so many NYT citations have no author name or article title? It would be difficult to look these up. Examples:
New York Times. March 31, 1977. Section 2, Page 6, Column 3.
New York Times. March 31, 1978. Section 2, Page 17, Column 3.
Thank you for your thorough comments. The New York Times sources include all the information that lexis-nexis provided me, which unfortunately did not include a title or author. They are traceable using that database. Also, does your comment about punctuation and quotation marks apply to bibliographic titles in footnotes? Otherwise, I think your comments have been addressed. Savidan 05:24, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Upon further investigation, I've found that I can find more complete citations with Proquest Historical. I'll fill those in asap. Savidan 05:38, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you also use the cite xx templates for all references. There are also some irregularities with the last name, first name convention on some of the news refs. Nishkid64(Make articles, not wikidrama) 16:43, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I've fixed the last name/first name thing. I don't like those templates, though. I think they create too big a barrier to new contributors, both directly and by making the raw text of the article incomprehensible. I think we need to have a very good reason before straying too far from WYSIWYG and this template does not meet that threshold. Savidan 17:47, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Please, if you're using the Author short name and page number style for footnotes, make it easy to find the full bibliographic entry. Easiest is to just make a "Bibliography" or "References" section so that things can be found. Several notes refer to other works that may or may not be given before. As near as I can read, the current ref 7 "Scheffler 2002, p 203" I can't find any author by that name in the previous references, and same for current ref 10 Churchill and VanderWall.
Along the same lines, you use the author, date, page number system for a couple of the shortened refs, but then you use Assata p. 247 for current ref 35. Please try to stay consistent with one system for shortened notes?
Current ref 40 "William Evely A. "Statement of Facts..." is lacking a publisher. This is on his site, correct? Also the same deal for current ref 6 Cleaver, Kathleen2005 "The Fugitive: Why has ..."
Still on the road, didn't check external links. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:33, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. I have shortened footnotes iff the full source appears in the "References" section. I can't speak for the entirity of allhiphop.com but their news articles are pretty reliable. If you don't believe me, take their word for it: . The link you have provided for popmatters seems good enough: they're just a specialized magazine for music. What makes them not reliable sources? We aren't talking about blogs here, but internet news sources. The link I have provided for allhiphop and the link you have provided for popmatters show that "main stream" news sources regard them as reliable. I have made the Assata reference consistent as you suggested. The Williams reference does not have a "publisher"; it is written by one of Shakur's attorneys and should be considered a primary source. It is being used only for three relatively non-controversial points; this information could be verified from other sources, but news sources like the nyt tend to present only snippets of information, so I would have to cobble together four references for the same sentence rather than refer the reader to one source. An eye witness to the trial should be considered reliable for what happened at the trial, but just to be safe, I have not used her as a source in relation to the the trooper's testimony. The cleaver reference does have a publisher. It was published in Essence. Savidan 01:36, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
For William ref, the publisher would be the website. Thanks muchly for putting the often used refs into their own section, makes things much easier to check. As for pop matters, are they a printed magazine or just online? Is a media company behind them? Same for allhiphop, are they a published magazine/newspaper? Is a media company behind them? How do they gather their information? Ealdgyth - Talk 04:21, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't quite know if I agree with you about the website being the "publisher". This is just a statement that she wrote which has been posted multiple places on the internet; it's not like it was commissioned by any one website or anything. As the website is already included in the hyperlink, what do you think is gained by going out on a limb to refer to it as the publisher? Frankly, I'm a little bit surprised to be defending the reliability of these two websites to you, as I believe they are relatively well-known. Obviously, neither of these are printed; only online. Being as Wikipedia generally accepts even well-known blogs as sources, it seems odd that something a few steps up on the web-only food chain would be questioned. I don't know, obviously, the exact editorial/research model of either site. AHH has been used as a source by CNN, The Source, XXL, Complex, New York Post, New York Daily News; PM has been quoted by BBC, NPR, MSNBC, Radio Australia, and VH1. Both are indexed by google news. We aren't dealing with some blog or internet forum here. Savidan 04:44, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry if you are surprised to be defending some websites, but they aren't well known to me. WP:RS looks for the best sources possible. A publisher is someone who puts forth the information, thus if you are using a web site as a source, it is the publisher of the information as you are using it in their form. It's who published the information. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:51, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough about the second part; I will make the website explicit. Just to be clear: is it your claim that these sources are not reliable, or were just looking for information? Savidan 02:07, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Mainly, looking for information. Normally, I'd be able to dig a bit deeper, but I'm on the road at a hotel, and with less than optimal bandwith, so deep checking of sources has been more difficult for the last two weeks. Neither site screams "unreliable" but I was unable to do a really deep dig to find out that they were reliable either. Often times it's easier to ask the folks who know the sources, especially when I'm much out of my depth. It'd be like you looking at this site and trying to figure out if it was reliable. If you don't know the subject, it's harder to judge the sources. Hope this helps. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:28, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that I was an expert in either source; I guess these are just websites that I read a lot so I am more prone to take them at their word (both for their content and appraisal of themselves, linked above, I believe). Please take your time if you want to dig deeper. Savidan 04:16, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I believe that allhiphop meets the standard you have discussed at the other fac (linked, above). See here: Savidan 01:11, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I see some published newspapers there, including the New York Times, that use or report stuff from allhiphop, so there we go. Just the one missing publisher, I think. (Unless I missed you fixing that, which I might have.) Ealdgyth - Talk 14:34, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
If you are referring to the williams ref, then, yes, i did fix that. Savidan 16:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Support, much improved and no remaining issues from me. Oppose The prose is long-winded and hard to follow in several places; I suggest getting someone to go through and chop up many of the longer sentences. There are some basic MoS and fair use issues. Some specific examples of fixes needed:
"Since May 2, 2005, she has been classified as a domestic terrorist by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which has offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture." The wording "has offered" suggests they are no longer offering.. is that correct?
I believe my new wording has clarified this. The reward is still ongoing. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
The fair use rationale of the Black Panther logo is not really valid for this article. It is more decorative than anything else.
The image has been removed. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
"She married Louis Chesimard in April 1967 and divorced him in December 1970." No other details? Why?
I have added another sentence about her marriage. It didn't last very long and its biggest effect on her life was probably the name change. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
"... changing her name to Assata Shakur and later the Black Liberation Army." She changed her name to the Black Liberation Army? Please reword this sentence.
"After her capture, however, Shakur was not charged with any of the murders that had made her the subject of the manhunt." I reworded this a bit and was tempted to remove the phrase "that had made her the subject of the manhunt" but I didn't want to affect the meaning. The way it reads, it is possible that she was charged with other murders - just not the particular ones that the manhunt involved. Is that the case? If she was not charged period, please remove that last phrase.
I have clarified this sentence. She was charged with other crimes, including murders, as the reader shall see in the beginning of the "Trials" section. However, there was no overlap between the crimes that made her the subject of the manhunt and the crimes she was eventually charged with. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
"On May 2, 1973, just after midnight, Shakur, at that time a member of the Black Liberation Army and no longer a member of the Black Panther Party, along with Zayd Malik Shakur (born James F Coston) and Sundiata Acoli (born Clark Squire), was stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick by State Trooper James Harper and backed up by Trooper Werner Foerster, for driving with a broken taillight, only 200 yards (183 m) away from a police administration building." Way too long. Also, if you're not going to use the conversion template for figures like "200 yards", you need to put non-breaking spaces between the number and the unit. Please check the whole article for these.
I have broken up this sentence and inserted the non-breaking spaces. I don't see any other instances of this. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
"Acoli then drove the car (a white Pontiac LeMans with Vermont license plates)—which contained Assata, who was wounded, and Zayd, who was dead or dying; several miles down the road, where Assata Shakur was apprehended." Don't begin a break with an em dash and end it with a semicolon, please.
"Between 1973 and 1977, in New York and New Jersey, Shakur was indicted ten times, resulting in seven different criminal trials, including two bank robberies, the kidnapping of a Brooklyn heroin dealer, attempted murder of two Queens police officers stemming from a January 23, 1973 failed ambush, and the murder of a New Jersey state trooper." Length.
Broken up into multiple sentences. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
"... and hers resulted in a mistrial in 1974 because of the possibility of miscarriage; Shakur was hospitalized on February 1." The sequence of events is quite unclear here. Was she hospitalized first, then the mistrial? Or the other way around?
The hospitalization came after the mistrial. I have clarified this. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
"One prospective juror was dismissed for reading Target Blue (ISBN 978-0440084891), a book by Robert Daley..." Would you object to putting the ISBN in a footnote?
"Trooper Harper's three 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, and that after Acoli complied and as he was looking inside the vehicle to examine the registration, Trooper Foerster yelled and held up an ammunition clip, as Shakur simultaneously reached into her red pocketbook, pulled out a nine-millimeter weapon and fired at him." Marathon.
Broken up into multiple sentences. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
"Judge Appleby eventually cut off funds for expert defense testimony." This is sort of hanging out at the end of that paragraph but I'm not sure why it's there. It's obviously a key point but how does it connect to what you are writing? Does your source claim a reason for his doing so? What are the implications?
I have clarified this sentence. The source claims no reason; only the fact. I don't want to speculate as to the reasons (I'd be glad to tell you my ideas via email ;) ... but I don't think its appropriate for the article). Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Please do - I'm interested in the subject now. --Laser brain(talk) 23:36, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I have augmented the fair use rationale. Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your detailed comments. I will remedy finish remedying them or reply in the next few twenty-four hours. Savidan 01:29, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I normally try to avoid imbedding replies, but you have made so many objections that I feel any other form of response will make this incomprehensible to other fac reviewers. My responses are thus above. Most of your changes I have made; others I have resolved another way or disagree with (see above). Savidan 21:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
No problem, it makes it easier for me to see what you changed. Nice work! --Laser brain(talk) 23:36, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Weak Oppose. To me, the article came across as very pro-Shakur. There is very little information in the article about the prosecution's case in the NJ Turnpike trial. Did any witnesses try to rebut her medical evidence? Did the prosecution present any evidence beyond the trooper's testimony? Also, why are her other trials not covered? I believe the article should at least briefly outline the charges in each case, especially the one that resulted in the hung jury.
I consider this objection to be unactionable as currently stated. The information about the trial is exhaustive in terms of published sources; for this objection to become actionable, it must be demonstrated that the article has omitted some published information. The same with the other trials; they are covered, there's just is not as much published information about them as there is about her main trial. Please be more specific about the information that you would like added; please do not request information just based on what you'd personally like to know, but rather what has been published. Savidan 16:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I am no expert on this person (I never heard of her before reading this article), and I have no idea what is available and what is not, therefore I cannot provide you with a list of particular sources to use. However, I find it difficult to believe that in a trial apparently covered pretty broadly there would be no other information about the prosecution's case, especially considering that many of the people in the area likely sympathized more with the prosecution than the defense (at least that is the impression I got from this article). Karanacs (talk) 17:39, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The key element of the prosecutions case—Trooper Harper's testimony—is covered in the article. There weren't any witnesses other than the four mentioned in that section; all the crime lab evidence (fingerprints and gunpowder residue) is also mentioned. I don't know what other evidence you think the prosecution would want to admit for a case like this. I seriously doubt there was some video footage that they showed that somehow was never mentioned in any of the articles I've read about this... Savidan 20:49, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. The article is strongly biased in favor of Shakur. Some examples:
Most of the "turnpike trial" section is dedicated to her defense that she couldn't have fired the shot. Well, that's irrelevant, she wasn't convicted of firinig the shot, she was convicted of being an accomplice. That fact gets one sentence, the irrelevant details about gunpowder and her wounds get three quarters of the section. And even the important sentence starts "Although the prosecution could not prove that Shakur fired the shots that killed either Trooper Foerster or Zayd Shakur" - clearly biased phrasing.
I agree with you that this defense does not remedy the accomplish charge; however, that's just both of our opinions, it's not a neutral fact. Nor does it make the information "irrelevant". These sectinos present the citable information about what evidence was presented at her trial. Whether it seems relevant to you (or me or anyone else) is not the issue. The important thing is that the article describe what transpired at her trial to the extent that it can be cited. As for the last part: this is not a biased phrasing, this is merely a statement of cited information. The fact that someone was charged as an accomplice because it couldnt be proved that they did the nominal crime is notable. Savidan 15:02, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Don't remove it, just shorten it so it doesn't get so much relative weight. Severely shorten it. Focusing on irrelevancies is an attorney's tactic, we shouldn't. Giving the same page space to prosecution's and defense's case seems a good first approximation; if you consider that the prosecution carried their case, you may even want to give the prosecution's case more space. --GRuban (talk) 15:10, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
"Judge Appleby eventually cut off funds, effectively preventing any further expert defense testimony." Biased language, implying that it was the nasty mean judge, who didn't let the truth come out that it wasn't actually Shakur who fired the shot, when that wasn't the point.
The sentence does not say that he was a nasty judge. It says that he cut off funds, which he did. That he cut of funds is a fact; that he was a nasty judge or that he didnt want the truth to come out are two possible opinions which could be associated with this fact (although not the interpretation I subscribe to), but they are not stated in the article. Savidan 15:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
The rather important claim that a trooper admitted to lying is cited to an editorial column by a prominent Shakur supporter, whose profession is professor of theology; in fact that editorial column is used as a source six times.
The escape is glossed over. "No one, including the guards, was injured during the prison break." Biased, clearly implies it was carried out by the forces of goodness, if even the guards didn't get hurt. If something didn't happen, don't write about it. Instead, how about looking how the best known newspaper in the country writes about it? "Killer Says He Helped In Chesimard's Escape"" 2 Ex-Fugitives Convicted of Roles In Fatal Armored-Truck Robbery" And the accomplices weren't just "charged with assisting in her escape;" or "held on charges related to the escape", thurey were tried and convicted, a rather important difference.
I can tell this is going to be a recurring problem with you. That no one was injured in a fact; that those who carried out her escape were the "forces of goodness" is just not in the article at all. You seem to be making your comments based on your own emotional reponses to the facts in the article rather than the way that facts are cited or stated. This is one of several citable details mentioned. I will add the conviction info, though. Savidan 15:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
No, actually, I am responding to the way the facts are stated. The most neutral way to say that something didn't happen is not to say it. Consider if the article bore the following "facts"? "Despite the overwhelming anger felt by the policemen, who were friends of the murdered victim, Shakur was not beaten, was not starved, was not waterboarded"? "The sentence was not successfully appealed to any court of appeals." "The governor did not pardon Shakur or commute Shakur's sentence." These would all be facts, but no less biased in the way they were stated. --GRuban (talk) 15:52, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
"Shakur maintains her innocence to this day" - innocence of what? Again, remember, she was convicted of being an accomplice, which she doesn't deny. She seems to be insisting she didn't pull the trigger, but that's not what she was convicted of.
Actually, I suppose you're right that this can be removed. Savidan 15:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
It's not clear what you're proposing to add here. Could you be more explicit? Savidan 15:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
It is important to say somewhere that she claims to be innocent; but it would be preferable to be specific about the way in which she claims it. I also propose that it is important that she advocates armed struggle, since, while that doesn't mean she did or did not kill anyone, it does seem to say she endorses killing in general in certain cases. The specific NYTimes article there seems to refer to some other (Newsday?) article, that would be a preferable source, if you have access to it.
"Sheriff Joseph DeMarino lied to the press about the exact date of her transfer to Clinton State Correctional Institute " - again, biased language. Is it really that important where she was held at each state of her trial and imprisonment? It seems just an excuse to get the comment that police lie in the article one more time.
This has been discussed extensively on the talk page. "lied" is the word used in the article cited and by the sheriff himself. It is important where she was held, as apparently it was headline worthy at the time, as was the sheriff feeling the need to misinform the press about it. Savidan 15:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Where is Christine Whitman's widely publicized statement, in which she attacks Shakur?
Where is information about the slain police officer?
Please be more specific about which information you would like to see about him. This is not his bio (although its likely he'd be deemed notable if an article were started about him). Savidan 15:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Quite right. The proposal is more in the interest of balance, if we can reduce the emotional content that seems to make the reader sympathize with Shakur, we can live without much on the officer.
"All of the jury members were white" - cited to a NYTimes article, but no link provided. All NYTimes archives are on the web now, provide a link.
Not all historical nyt articles are available online, and often not for free. I'll see if i can a free link though. Savidan 15:14, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
In general, I consider most of these objections a little unreasonable. Some of them don't even maintain the pretense of commenting on the article as a compilation of neutrally presented and verifiable facts, but rather concern themself with arguing directly about a given point of view related to Shakur. For example, your first comment, rather than saying that the information in the article is inaccurate, says that its irrelevant because it doesn't prove that Shakur was innocent. It should go without saying that this is not the standard for relevance. The goal of this section is to neutrally and factually present verifiable information about her trial. To say that the cited facts about the trial are "irrelevant" because they don't accomplish some external argumentative purpose misses the purpose completely. However, you have raised some legitimate issues, which I will respond to/remedy specifically. Savidan 14:34, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
As the other user says above, this article is the first time I have ever heard of this case. If you assume anyone who criticizes this article must have a personal point of view against Shakur, you won't get far. --GRuban (talk) 14:53, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't assume that you have a personal view against Shakur, only that some of your comments reflect a set of assumptions about the opinions readers should form from the facts presented in the article, rather than focusing solely on the accuracy and neutrality of the information itself. I think that ultimately I will be able to remedy many of these to your satisfaction, though. Savidan 19:25, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.