Campus Reform | IU refers to known terrorist as 'social activist'

IU refers to known terrorist as 'social activist'

The Indiana University Department of Information and Library Science added the autobiography of known terrorist Assata Shakur to their Winter Reading List.

Shakur was found guilty of murdering a New Jersey state police officer and was a former leader of the Black Liberation Army, a violent militant revolutionary movement.

Article image

The Indiana University Department of Information and Library Science recommended that students read the autobiography of known terrorist Assata Shakur, referring to her instead as a "social activist." In a post on its official Instagram account, the department stated that the biography is part of the “Winter Reading List." 

"This book is an autobiography of Assata Shakur, social activist and former member of the Black Liberation Army, as well as the godmother of Tupac Shakur," the post stated. The post features a picture of the autobiography's cover, which promotes a foreword by self-described communist Angela Davis, who also appeared on the FBI's Most Wanted List.

Davis is a frequent campus speaker, as Campus Reform has noted

Assata Shakur, whose actual name is Joanne Deborah Chesimard, became the first woman in 2013 to make the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. She is a convicted murderer, responsible for the 1973 death of a New Jersey state police officer. She is also a leader of the Black Liberation Army, a violent militant revolutionary movement responsible for the killing and wounding of more than a dozen law enforcement officers, the hijacking of Delta Flight 841, and numerous armed robberies and bombings, according to The New York Times.

[RELATED: Terrorist hijacker, FBI's Most Wanted among most extreme campus speakers of 2020]

In 1973, Shakur murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, after the officer had pulled her over for driving with a faulty tail light. Four years later, in 1977, Shakur was convicted of first-degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. She was sentenced to life in prison.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Indiana University student supreme court nominee voted down for supporting law enforcement]

On November 2, 1979, with the assistance of other Black Liberation Army members, Shakur escaped from prison and fled to Cuba, where it is believed that she currently resides. The FBI is offering a million-dollar reward for any information that directly leads to Shakur. 

Aaron Ford, a special agent in charge of the FBI division in Newark, New Jersey, stated that Shakur “is a domestic terrorist who murdered a law enforcement officer execution-style.” “We want the public to know that we will not rest until this fugitive is brought to justice," he added in 2013, according to the Guardian

[RELATED: U Pitt's mandatory anti-racism class is filled with critical race theory, BLM talking points]

When asked about the reasoning behind the suggestion, the assistant director of the Indiana University Department of Information and Library Science operations, Katie Novak, told Campus Reform that the department often issues a “series of posts, particularly on Instagram, that feature staff reading recommendations, at times related to a specific subject or celebration” and that the “department stands by the right and necessity of supporting people from different backgrounds in their expressions and also in their access to information, toward the goal of forming a more inclusive and more just society, nation, and world, and it is opposed to contrary principles and expressions.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kylehreynolds