This is a truly great project. John Potash makes it clear how the FBI and CIA target people and politics. The timeline for The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders begins with the Black Panthers and MLK and Malcolm X. That’s all relevant to Tupac because his mother was a Black Panther and because the same tactics used back then get on Tupac down the line. That includes things like free drugs and sex, breaking up relationships, constant court fees and imprisonment, sending fake mail, and infiltration. These aren’t assumed things either–these are documented strategies that the FBI and CIA use.
Potash explains that these kinds of leaders get targeted because of how they may influence the public into becoming more communal and less capitalistic. He also shows how each one builds on another. The same people and patterns keep popping up again and again. Half-way through, all I could think was how wild it is that this goes on in the background of American life. The best parts were about Tupac specifically, but I really liked the stories about Afeni Shakur and Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal and Fred Hampton and George Jackson. That history is so interesting and important to document because of how much their lives were literally tampered with.
My bookstore: Ten Dollar Books