About Shaka Shakur

Shaka Shakur has been held captive by the state since 2002, beginning with the Indiana Department of Correction. He is currently imprisoned at Beaumont “Correctional” Center in Virginia.

Shaka’s conviction on a trumped up charge of attempted murder of a police officer was precipitated by politically motivated harassment by the Gary, Indiana police and the State of Indiana. During his first period of incarceration, beginning when he was 16 years old, Shaka embraced New Afrikan revolutionary politics. Mentored by figures such as Zolo Azania and James “Yaki” Sayles, Shaka became an active organizer while incarcerated at the notorious Indiana State Prison. ISP, Indiana’s death row, run by a good ole boy network of white supremacist guards and administrators who routinely beat, tortured, and lynched black prisoners in their custody. Shaka was highly influential in bringing resistance to this reign of terror, actions which would lead him and five other organizers known as the “Indiana 6” being transferred to the Westville Maximum Control Complex, Indiana’s first Supermax and the second in the U.S.

Shaka continued his efforts at Westville, bringing together prisoners, outside organizations like the Committee to End the Marion Lockdown, and various human rights groups to push for an independent investigation into the human rights abuses being committed in the Supermax. These efforts lead to the Human Rights Watch report Cold Storage: Maximum Security Confinement in Indiana, a landmark document on the realities of Supermax prisons.

Beyond prisons, Shaka is a committed New Afrikan revolutionary. A regular contributor to the publications of the Spear and Shield Collective, he is active in the theory and practice of New Afrikan Independence. Drawing on his own experience, he emphasized the importance of recognizing the category of politicized prisoners as political prisoners. 

Shaka’s reputation as a revolutionary and principled organizer would lead to constant harassment following his release from the IDOC and brief stint in Wisconsin. He was improperly tried as a habitual offender on a false charge of attempted murder and has been held captive ever since. He is currently the co-founder and political consultant to the New Afrikan Liberation Collective, a contributor to Prison Lives Matter, and active organizer with the abolitionist organization IDOC Watch. In 2019, Shaka was made a “domestic exile,” being sent to Virginia in exchange for Kevin “Rashid” Johnson in attempt by the respective DOCs to stifle their political activity and cut them off from their support. That attempt has failed, and Shaka continues his efforts for human rights in the IDOC, VDOC, and the struggle for New Afrikan Independence. 

Action steps you can take now