Dear Mama: Remembering Afeni Shakur, Mother Of Tupac
“Back in the time, I never thought I’d see my mama’s face / Ain’t no woman in the world that could take my mama’s place.” — Tupac Shakur, “Dear Mama”
Afeni Shakur Davis, longtime political activist and the mother of the late rap legend Tupac, died in May of 2016; she was 69. According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office in Sausalito, California, police responded to a report of cardiac arrest at Shakur’s home on Monday night and transported her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead less than an hour later. Police say the coroner will investigate the cause of death. Shakur, born Alice Faye Williams in North Carolina.
A native of North Carolina, Davis first gained prominence as one of 21 members of the Black Panther Party put on trail in New York in 1969 for allegedly plotting to shoot and bomb two New York City police stations and an education center. It was at the time the most expensive trial in New York history and ended with an acquittal of all defendants.
She gave birth to two children, one of which was named Lesane Parish Crooks in June of 1971, better known to his scores of fans as Tupac Shakur. Tupac’s dad, Billy Garland, had been acquitted with Davis in the Panther 21 trial just a month before he was born.
Tupac went on to become an actor, rapper and an activist in his own right. Speaking out against police brutality and injustices in the justice system.
Right after his death, Afeni said this in an interview:
“I’ll tell you something else, for people who feel so bad about Tupac’s leaving this planet, we should remember that each of us come here with a beginning date and an ending date. Tupac’s beginning was June 16, 1971 and his end was September 13th, 1996. In the 25 years that God gave him on this earth, he shone like a star, and he did all that he was suppose to do, he said all that he needed to say. You need not weep for Tupac, but weep for yourself, because we are left here with these contradictions that we still must face.”
At the beginning of Tupac’s famous video, “Dear Mama”, Afeni Shakur is seen and heard saying, “When I was pregnant, I was in jail and thought I was going to have the baby in jail and thought the baby would never be with me. But I was acquitted and one month and three days before Tupac was born. I was real happy, because I had a son.”
Later in life, Davis spent much of her time managing her late son’s massively popular musical legacy after he was gunned down at the age of 25 in Las Vegas in 1996. Shakur’s musical catalog was netting about $900 million per year at the time of…