On June 16, 1971, Lesane Parish Crooks was born in East Harlem, New York. Though his mother, Alice Faye Williams (Afeni Shakur), soon would change his name to the one which the whole world would later know him by: Tupac Amaru.
The name itself comes from an eighteenth century Peruvian Incan chief and revolutionary, who died opposing the oppressing Spanish rule.
But the story of why Tupac’s mother would change her son’s name goes deeper than the inspiring story of a long gone revolutionary leader. Afeni was, curiously, herself part of a revolutionary group, namely “The Black Panthers”. And as far as facts goes, Shakur was actually a commonly adopted name among “The Panthers”. It is Arabic and means something like “thankful to God”.
Amaru, on the other hand, is Quechua, the main launguage of the Incas, still spoken by over 8 million people, and it means “shining/sacred serpent”.
Black Panther, COINTELPRO Survivor, Ab’Orisa and Philanthropist, formerly married to Lumumba Shakur and political prisoner Mutulu Shakur. Mother to Tupac Shakur, Ayize Shakur, Sekiywa Shakur, and Chinua Shakur.
“First I wanna say “Peace to my Mother” she not here but I have to give a peace out to her, cause I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my mother, and I look on the front of this thing and it says, “Start from with in, to rebuild are original greatness”, right. Ok, well that’s what my mother did, know-what-Im-sayin? And I’m listenin’ about freedom fighters and strugglers, will you gotta understand that when it was in, to have a gun and to be in the street, my mother gave that up, to be in a house and to wash the dishes know-what-Im-sayin? And feed us and put the thoughts in our brains, know-what-Im-sayin? Because we didn’t get any of that history from all of those soldiers that we lost. We got none of that! They all went to jail, if you can remember. They all went to penitentiaries. We didn’t see any of that knowledge, if it was not for my mother who stayed home and didn’t go out and do that, then I wouldn’t have shit! Excuse my language…but I wouldn’t have been nowhere.”
- excerpt from Tupac’s 1992 Malcolm X Grassroots movement Speech
Finished reading this a couple hours ago. This was a good read. Tupac’s mother, Afeni been through some 💩 and manage to comeback fighting. Battling her inner demons to founding herself and higher power. It was also juicy lol. Jasmine Guy did really good knowing that this was her first book. I hope she continues to write more ☺️.
“Maybe it’s me that cause it, the fightin and the hurtin’. In my room crying cause I didn’t wana be a burden. Watch mama open her arms to hug me. And I aint worried about a damn thang, with unconditional love.”