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A Song for Assata

This song is by Common, features Cee-Lo and appears on the album Like Water For Chocolate (2000).

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In the Spirit of God
In the Spirit of the Ancestors
In the Spirit of the Black Panthers
In the Spirit of Assata Shakur
We make this movement towards freedom
For all those who have been oppressed
And all those in the struggle
Yeah. yo, check it

There were lights and sirens, gunshots firin'
Cover your eyes as I describe a scene so violent
Seemed like a bad dream, she laid in a blood puddle
Blood bubbled in her chest, cold air brushed against open flesh

No room to rest, pain consumed each breath
Shot twice with her hands up
Police questioned but shot before she answered

One Panther lost his life, the other ran for his
Scandalous the police were as they kicked and beat her
Comprehension she was beyond, tryna hold on
To life. She thought she'd live with no arm

That's what it felt like, got to the hospital, eyes held tight
They moved her room to room-she could tell by the light
Handcuffed tight to the bed, through her skin it bit
Put guns to her head, every word she got hit

"Who shot the trooper?" they asked her
Put mace in her eyes, threatened to blast her
Her mind raced till things got still
Opened her eyes, realized she's next to her best friend who got killed

She got chills, they told her: that's where she would be next
Hurt mixed wit anger, survival was a reflex
They lied and denied visits from her lawyer
But she was buildin' as they tried to destroy her

If it wasn't for this German nurse they woulda served her worse
I read this sister's story, knew that it deserved a verse
I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All this shit so we could be free, so dig it, y'all

I'm thinkin' of Assata, yes
Listen to my Love, Assata, yes
Your power and pride is beautiful
May God bless your soul

It seemed like the middle of the night when Law awakened her
Walkie-talkies cracklin, not sayin' where they takin' her
Though she kinda knew
What made the ride peaceful was the trees and the sky was blue

Arrived to Middlesex Prison about six inna morning
Uneasy as they pushed her to the second floor in a cell
One cot, no window, facing hell
Put in the basement of a prison wit all males
And the smell of misery, seatless toilets and centipedes
She'd exercise, paint, and begin to read
Two years inna hole. Her soul grew weak
Away from people so long she forgot how to speak

She discovered freedom is a unspoken sound
And a wall is a wall and can be broken down
Found peace in the Panthers she went on trial with
One of the brothers she had a child with

The foulness they wouldn't feed her, hopin' she's lose her seed
Held tight, knowing the fight would live through this seed
In need of a doctor, from her stomach she'd bleed
Out of this situation a girl was conceived

Separated from her, left to mother the Revolution
And lactated to attack hate
'Cause federal and state was built for a Black fate
Her emptiness was filled with beatings and court dates

They fabricated cases, hoping one would stick
And said she robbed places that didn't exist
In the midst of threats on her life and being caged with Aryan whites
Through dark halls of hate she carried the light

I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All of this shit so we could be free
Yeah, I often wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All of this just so we could be free, so dig it, people

I'm thinkin' of Assata, yeah
Listen to my love, Assata, yeah
Your power and pride, so beautiful
May God bless your soul, ooh

From North Carolina her grandmother would bring
News that she had had a dream
Her dreams always meant what they needed them to mean
What made them real was the action in between

She dreamt that Assata was free in they old house in Queens
The fact that they always came true was the thing
Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldnta done
Medical evidence shown she couldnt'na shot the gun

It's time for her to see the sun from the other side
Time for her daughter to be by her mother's side
Time for this beautiful woman to become soft again
Time for her to breathe, and not be told how or when

She untangled the chains and escaped the pain
How she broke out of prison I could never explain
And even to this day they try to get to her
But she's free with political asylum in Cuba

I'm thinkin' of Assata, yeah
Listen to my love, Assata, yeah
We're molded from the same mud, Assata
We share the same blood, Assata, yeah

Your power and pride, so beautiful
May God bless your soul
Your power and pride, so beautiful
May God bless your soul, ooh

Freedom! You askin me about freedom?
Askin me about freedom?
I'll be honest with you
I know a whole lot more about what freedom isn't than about what it is
'Cause I've never been free
I can only share my vision with you of the future, about what freedom is
Uhh, the way I see it, uh-
Freedom is-- is the right to grow, is the right to blossom
Freedom is -is the right to be yourself, to be who you are
To be who you wanna be, to do what you wanna do...



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