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Inadmissible Evidence: The Story of the African-American Trial Lawyer Who Defended the Black Liberation Army

Inadmissible Evidence: The Story of the African-American Trial Lawyer Who Defended the Black Liberation Army - Evelyn Williams, Haywood Burns Great companion read to Assata's autobiography. Evelyn Williams, Assata's aunt and lawyer, is a strong and fascinating woman on her own. The memoir is pretty evenly divided between Evelyn's own childhood and life story and her time with her niece. If you're primarily interested in the BLA trials, Inadmissible Evidence fills in a few key details about each of the cases, Assata's eventual escape, her life in Cuba, and her eventual reunion with her daughter. The dynamic of their relationship is especially interesting - Evelyn is methodical and professional, Assata bold and passionate; their differing personalities often lead to conflict, but the love between them is deep, and Evelyn herself becomes more and more persuaded by Assata's seemingly radical actions in response to a lifetime of increasingly violent injustice.

Indeed, Williams seemingly devoted herself to such causes throughout her life, however hopeless, sacrificing professional success for the people and cases in which she felt a moral investment. I was especially moved and appalled by the stories of her family being cheated out of their long-held North Carolina property, and her fight to keep poor African-American families from being systematically forced out of their homes. It's not pleasant reading; one is grateful for her efforts and her courage, but sobered by the conclusions she is sometimes forced to come to and by what she and her family have had to endure.