Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary – Jasmine Guy
Following the death of Tupac Shakur on September 13, 1996, his mother Afeni was tasked with becoming administrator of his estate and dealing with a staggering amount of litigation resulting from lawsuits filed against the late rap star and lawsuits on his behalf against Death Row records. Using the proceeds she was awarded through litigation, she established Amaru entertainment in her son’s memory. Her efforts are characteristic of the former revolutionary Black Panther. Tupac often talked about his mother to whom he was much closer than his biological father, Billie Garland. Her battles with crack cocaine addiction are well-known and Tupac himself discussed it on several occasions. In later years after his death, she had been drug-free for a number of years but sadly joined the ranks of African American mothers who have lost their children to the violence of the streets.
Jasmine Guy was a friend of Tupac’s and after his death became friends with his mother. This book is a collection of their discussions that occurred during their blossoming friendship. Afeni talks about her own life and as to be expected, her son’s short life and violent death. Guy visited Shakur’s home in suburban Georgia giving the book the feeling of two old friends sitting on a porch in the summer reminiscing about the days of yesteryear. Afeni’s story is a deep one, rife with tragedy, drugs, revolution, motherhood and redemption. She does not avoid the difficult topics and has come to terms with her past actions and inactions. As this point in her life, she comes across wise beyond her years, freely able to admit when and where she went wrong in life. She opens up to Guy and the result is a hidden literary gem that fans of the late star will come to appreciate.
Since Tupac’s early death, Afeni has been the voice of his legacy, keeping it alive for future generations. Sadly, on May 2, 2016, she passed away at the age of 69 from a suspected heart attack. Her voice has been silenced forever, but for those seeking to understand Afeni and the life she lived, this is her story in her own words.