Afeni Shakur, a political activist and mother of Tupac, has passed away at the age of 69.
According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Department, police responded to a possible “cardiac arrest at 9:34 p.m. last night at her home” in Sausalito, California. She was transported to the hospital where she officially passed at 10:28 p.m.
Many of us in the hip-hop world discovered Ms. Shakur from Tupac’s music, and more specifically “Dear Mama,” where he described how difficult it was growing up, but how proud he was Afeni was the one raising him.
Afeni was a member of the Black Panther party, eventually being accused along with 20 other Black Panther members of multiple bombings around New York in 1969. Pregnant with Tupac at the time, she along with all the other 20 members, were acquitted of the charges in 1971 and gave birth to Tupac a month and three days later on June 16, 1971.
After Tupac died in 1996, Afeni started the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation dedicated to providing an opportunity for youth to participate in performing arts. Most recently, she had a heavy hand in the creation of the upcoming Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me, which went into post-production in April and is expected in theaters sometime in the Fall 2016.
Rest in power, Ms. Shakur.
Jada Pinkett-Smith, longtime friend of Pac, took to Facebook to share some kind words.
Today I woke up to the news that Afeni had passed. My first thought was of Sekyiwa and the entire clan that loved Afeni. Then I remembered that I was in NY to attend a Mother’s Day event named after a song written about Afeni, Dear Mama. My heart tightened and then all kinds of memories flooded in. I quickly remembered how calm Afeni was especially during any crisis. She always had a way of making me believe all would be well. But my fondest memories of Afeni was spending time with her at Jamine Guy’s house as Jasmine was writing Afeni’s book. Tupac had passed, and now I was a business woman, wife, and a mother and we could talk real and I mean really real. I got to see where Pac got his passion, his ideals for equality and justice but most of all his depth of thinking. Afeni was a giant in her own right. Today she is reunited with her son and Sekyiwa has two majestic angels to look after her. One for each shoulder. Rest in peace Afeni, and give Pac a hug and a kiss from me. — Jada