Afeni Shakur-former Black Panther and activist, and mother of one of Hip Hop’s and popular culture’s most iconic figures–passed away at age 69 yesterday. Reports suggest she may have suffered a heart attack, although an investigation is pending.
Afeni Shakur brought one of the world’s brightest personalities into the world and after his murder in 1996, she strived to keep his message and legacy alive in the minds of his millions of fans worldwide.
In 1997, Ms. Shakur opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Atlanta, which brings arts exposure and training to disadvantaged children.
In Hip Hop culture, Ms. Shakur is an iconic figure–and not just due to her famous son. Ms. Shakur was charged with taking parts in bombings as a Black Panther, and represented herself as her own attorney during trial–a major and bold undertaking in a turbulent and uncertain time.
Ms. Shakur would serve time and later become addicted to drugs, which became the subject matter of one of Tupac’s most memorable songs, Dear Mama.
That Ms. Shakur overcame so much and gave back even more is a miracle and a testimony. Prior to her death, she was renowned and highly sought after as a leading lecturer, speaker, and philanthropist who made appearances across the world.
Rest in peace Afeni Shakur.