As much of the United States burns in response to the death of George Floyd, Drake decided to share a bit of political poetry with his 67 million Instagram followers.
“Rest in heaven George Floyd,” he wrote on IG with a rose emoji as he shared freedom fighter and convicted murderer Assata Shakur’s “Affirmation” poem from her 2001 autobiography.
More than 10 states reported civil disturbances and various emergencies as protestors and rioters alike continue to express outrage over the latest unarmed black man to die in police custody. Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder on Friday (May 29) and was slapped with a $500,000 bail and divorce papers from his soon-to-be-ex-wife.
Born JoAnne Deborah Byron in 1940s New York City, Shakur would go on to join the Black Liberation Army and Black Panther Party. In 1973, she was involved in a tail light stop, that left a New Jersey State Trooper and member of her entourage dead. As a result, she was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1977.
In 1979, Shakur escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women and fled to Cuba by where she’s granted political asylum to this day. She has been referenced by countless rap stars, including Lauryn Hill, Common, Black Star and yes, even Tupac Shakur.
Check out Assata Shakur’s “Affirmation” in full below.
I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.
I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.
I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know any thing at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home