a reporter, I have the duty and privilege to interview many people. This
interview has impacted my life the most.
Before my trip to Cuba, I had only read and heard stories of Assata
Shakur. I loved her for her passion and dedication to struggle. After
meeting her, that love is entrenched in my spirit. I will tell my
children and my children’s children about her struggle and quest for
When we met, her beauty instantly awed me. Her golden locks were
swept up and I saw love for me and my people written all over her face.
This interview was not easy to get and out of numerous requests she
called me late one night and said we could meet and talk about the
possibility of an interview.
I came bearing gifts—the latest Jet magazine from USA Today
syndicated columnist DeWayne Wickham, two pairs of earrings, a perfume
sample and my Prince CD Volume I Greatest Hits. I love Prince’s music
and parting with this CD was truly an offering of love.
I explained this to her and she smiled. She accepted my small token
of appreciation and we began to talk. She changed my life and left me
with a renewed sense of struggle. She has put into practice what many
here only theorize.
I am moved by her commitment as expressed in a poem she wrote: "It is
our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love
each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our
—Nisa Islam Muhammad
Nisa Islam Muhammad