Afeni Shakur (born Alice Faye Williams; January 10, 1947 – May 2, 2016) was an American music businesswoman, philanthropist, political activist and Black Panther. She was the mother of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. She acted as her own criminal defense attorney after being accused of taking part in numerous bombings as a member of the Panthers.
Afeni Shakur, the former revolutionary, activist, Black Panther, and mother of rap superstar Tupac Shakur, took on the duty of finishing the work her son was unable to complete after a bullet took his life in 1996. She is currently working to make his dreams a reality as founder and CEO of Amaru Entertainment, Inc., a record and film production company, and creator of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, Inc.
For Amaru Entertainment’s first project as a record company, Afeni put together the first posthumous album release, R U Still Down? (Remember Me), a double CD of 24 songs selected from the over 150 unreleased works Tupac had recorded. The triple platinum album sold over half a million copies and hit number five on the national pop charts in its first week of sales, a first-effort feat Shakur describes as “stunning.” Subsequent to that release, Shakur has released six additional albums containing the unreleased music of her son, all of which were executive produced by Shakur.
In addition to releasing the previously unreleased music of her son, Shakur published The Rose That Grew from Concrete, a posthumous collection of Tupac’s poetry, and a spoken-word version of the book by the same name. In 2000, she partnered with MTV Films to present the first and only feature documentary about Tupac Shakur, entitled Tupac: Resurrection, which was released in 2003 to great acclaim.
Shakur’s life story is now the subject of a brutally honest and fascinating biography by Jasmine Guy, entitled Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary. She was introduced to the Nation of Islam and the teachings of Malcolm X, and even though she never joined the Nation, she did become involved with the Black Panthers.
Involvement in the music industry and philanthropy
Exactly one year following Tupac’s death, with the money made from Tupac’s posthumous albums, Afeni founded the Georgia-based Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which provides art programs for young people, and Amaru Entertainment, the holding company for all Tupac’s unreleased material. She has also since launched a fashion clothing line, Makaveli Branded; all proceeds go to his charity, the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation.
Injunction against Death Row Records
Shakur was reportedly in Federal Court on July 20, 2007, to file an injunction to prevent Death Row Records from selling any unreleased material from Tupac after the company failed to prove that the unreleased songs were not part of its bankruptcy settlement. She created a record label named Amaru Records to release Tupac’s unreleased recordings. Afeni Shakur won her court case against Death Row Record to receive 150 unreleased songs by her son.
Guest Appearances, Lectures, Etc
In addition to philanthropy work, Shakur has made guest appearances, lectured, and more, traveling the US. On February 6, 2007, she gave the Keynote Address for Vanderbilt’s Commemoration for Black History Month.
She passed away the morning of May 2, 2016 at 10:28 PM in Sausalto, California
The Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of possible cardiac arrest at Davis’ home around 9:30 p.m. on Monday night. She was transferred to a local hospital, where she died around 10:28 p.m.