Afeni Shakur, the revolutionary mother who gave birth to rap legend Tupac Shakur, one of the most revered rappers of all time, has died. She was 69 years old.
Afeni Shakur, a former Black Panther Party member in the late 1960s whose political leanings doubtlessly had a major influence on her son Tupac’s rap philosopohy, died of cardiac cardiac arrest in her home in Sausalito, Calif.. She was transported to a local hospital and died around 10:30 p.m. that evening.
Shakur was born Alice Faye Williams but changed her name when she moved to New York and joined Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seal and the Oakland-based Black Panther Party that had chapters popping up all over the country. Not long after joining, she was jailed she was arrested and charged with charged with conspiracy to bomb public and government landmarks in the Big Apple.
She was eventually acquitted of all charges and she gave birth to Tupac a month after her release in 1971.
Interestingly enough, Afeni’s son Tupac was also the step-nephew and godson of Assata Shakur, the woman convicted of killing a New Jersey state police officer who broke out of prison and has been living in Cuba for the past 32 years. There is a $2 million bounty to bring Assata Shakur back to the United States.
Afeni Shakur, after leaving prison and the Black Panthers, fell into depression and got hooked on illicit drugs for a time, but recovered. She was the inspiration for his 1995 smash hit “Dear Mama” in which he wrote, “There’s no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you tat I understand/You are appreciated.”
When Tupac was assassinated to death in 1996 in Las Vegas, Afeni was in charge of his estate which at the time was generating $900,000 a year. She was living in Stone Mountain, Ga. when she founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, which ran for several years before it closed its doors permanently and Shakur moved to the West Coast.
Atlanta was the recent filming location for the Tupac Shakur biopic project titled All Eyez On Me. The role of Afeni Shakur is being played by actress Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead”). Afeni Shakur is the producer on the film that is expected to be released in November of this year. Earlier this year, she was embroiled a contested divorce with her husband of 12 years, Gust Davis. One of the issues in the divorce was control over the Tupac Shakur estate and the demand by Davis of $20,000 per month in spousal support from Afeni Shakur.