Tupac’s mother inspires Pitt students

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“I’m driven by the things my son was blessed with in his lifetime,” said Afeni Shakur. “I have no right to hold Tupac’s art hostage, so we will continue to share the enormous body of work he left behind with the world.”

Born Alice Faye Williams, in Lumberton, N.C., in 1947 she moved to the Bronx, N.Y., to pursue her dream in the performing arts. As a young girl with many ideals and aspirations, her view would be changed forever. Young Alice was introduced to the Nation of Islam and immersed herself in the teachings of El Hadji Malik Shabazz, known to the world as Malcolm X and which Afeni Shakur was reborn.

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CHAIRS—From left: Chelsea Cox, Black line chair; Afeni Shakur; and Brittany Robertson, co-chair.

There the section leader of the Black Panther Party gave to the world a son, Tupac Shakur, who would become the face and voice of a new movement called rap. In his short life of 25 years, he would become rap music’s all time top selling superstar.

So it was fitting that on Sept. 17, 14 years after the death of her son, Afeni Shakur, a noted cultural revolutionary, outspoken socio-political activist, former Black Panther Party section leader, at the behest of the students of the University of Pittsburgh’s Black Action Society, spoke her mind to one and all.

On stage in the auditorium of the Black Student Union, she stood a mere 5-3, dressed casually in a grey pin-striped suit with a smile as she gave her lessons of life. She mesmerized all with her candor and grace of one who has fought the good fight and still believes that African-Americans in America can overcome their differences and realize that the greatest gift we have is each other.

As a part of her national tour, she told the audience of her own remarkable road, which has led her to personal peace; of the importance of believing in one’s self-worth and to never let anyone tell you that you cannot succeed.

Following the death of her son she has taken full charge of finishing the many noble goals he left uncompleted. She is the founder and head of Amaru Entertainment, Inc., that includes a record label, a film production company and a highly-successful clothing and jewelry line of Tupac merchandise. She is also the founder and CEO of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation. She has become a seasoned warrior for community rights, inspiring audiences everywhere with her own remarkable road to peace and empowerment. She celebrates the victories of her life and openly acknowledges her struggles, so that others may rise above them.

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