Afeni x Tupac Shakur

Afeni Shakur, mother of belated rapper Tupac Shakur and the subject of Tupac’s 1995 hit “Dear Mama,” reportedly passed away on Monday evening. She was 69 years old.

Reports say Marin County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at Shakur’s home in Sausalito, California, Monday night after she suffered cardiac arrest. From there, she was then taken to a local hospital, where her death was confirmed by the sheriff’s office sometime around 10:28 PM.

Renown rap artist #Tupac Shakur's mother AfeniShakur Davis, age 69, died late last night in Marin County. pic.twitter.com/oP0crvINm8

— Marin County Sheriff (@MarinSheriff) May 3, 2016

Born Alice Faye Williams in 1947, Afeni Shakur may be best known for having birthed a West Coast rap legend and continuing his legacy following Tupac’s death in 1996. She founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which provides art programs for youth; and Amaru Entertainment, the holding company responsible for all of Tupac’s unreleased material and entertainment products. Afeni helped arrange and release at least six posthumous Tupac albums, following Shakur’s taking Death Row Records to court to get the rights to her son’s music.

But while Afeni Shakur’s legacy may end with Tupac, it certainly didn’t start there. Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, in 1947, Shakur became involved with the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s and ’70s, and was also associated with the Panther 21, a conspiracy implicating herself and other Panthers in a plot to bomb landmarks in New York City in 1969. Shakur acted as her own criminal defense lawyer during the proceedings, and was acquitted of the charges. In addition to being a political activist, Shakur was also a philanthropist and a staunch supporter of African-American arts. She delivered the Keynote Address at Vanderbilt University’s 2007 Black History Month commemoration, and also was keynote speaker at The Trayvon Martin Foundation’s 2014 “Circle of Mothers’ Empowerment Retreat.”

At least now, mother and son are reunited in Heaven. Rest in Power.

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