Hip Hop lovers all over the world have to thank Afeni Shakur Davis for the gift of her late son, Tupac, through whom hip-hop sprung a life of its own.
Unfortunately, Afeni Shakur died on Monday (April, 2) at the age of 69.
On Monday night, Marin County deputies were called to her home in Sausalito, California, after she had suffered a cardiac arrest. The sheriff’s office said she was taken to a local hospital where she died at about 10.30PM(local time).
Afeni can be described as her son’s motivation as she was the subject of his best works.
She also promoted her son’s posthumous legacy after he was shot to death in 1996 – at the age of 25.
Tupac’s hit song Dear Mama, produced in 1995 was dedicated to her. In it, Tupac lyrically described how he had to struggle through life as a child and his respect for his mother.
He rapped, “There’s no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you that I understand/You are appreciated”.
Afeni, was born Alice Faye Williams, she changed her name after moving to New York City where she joined the Black Panther movement.
In 1969, Afeni and other Black Panther members were arrested and convicted with conspiracy to bomb multiple, busy city landmarks. During her trial, she requested to serve as her defense attorney. Her request was sustained, and charges against her were acquitted. She served 11 months in prison.
While serving time, Afeni was pregnant with Tupac. She was released in May 1971, a month before the future hip hop legend was born in June.
In 1997, a year after her son was killed, she founded the Tupac Amarachi Shakur Foundation. The Foundation catered for youth arts programs, and was responsible for overseeing Tupac’s unreleased material.
A biopic on the Tupac is currently being filmed which Afeni was the executive producer. The movie has been titled, All Eyes On Me; Danai Gurira will be playing Afeni’s character.