by Tanya Ellis
May 3, 2016
Afeni Shakur, the mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur died late last night in her Sausalito, California home. She was 69 years old.
— Marin County Sheriff (@MarinSheriff) May 3, 2016
Shakur’s commitment to her business endeavors, philanthropy, political activity and her son’s legacy personify our #RepresentRealMoms celebration. As we mourn her passing, let’s celebrate her life with 5 things you should know about her.
1. She was born Alice Faye Williams on January 10, 1947, in Lumberton, North Carolina but moved to New York City in 1958.
2. She was a member of the Black Panther Party from 1964 to 1969. In 1969 she was charged with several counts of conspiracy to bomb police stations, department stores, and other public places in New York City. She was acquitted of all charges in May 1971 after acting as her own counsel.
3. Despite their strained relationship due to her drug use, Afeni and Tupac eventually reconciled and he paid tribute to her in his famed song “Dear Mama”, in which he explored his difficult youth and her addiction to crack cocaine.
4. After her son’s death, Afeni Shakur became a co-executor of Tupac Shakur’s estate, which was estimated at between $8 and $10 million in 1997 and included a library of unreleased material estimated at a value of more than $100 million.
5. She used part of her fortune to establish a charitable organization, the Tupac Amaru Foundation for the Arts, which sponsors programs to help young people succeed in art and musical projects.
Rest in power Ms. Shakur.