Afeni Shakur, mother and light of late rap icon Tupac Shakur, passed away Monday (May 2) at 69. Not only was Afeni — née Alice Faye Williams — the subject of one of Pac’s most iconic songs, she was more importantly a fervent disciple of social change. She was a Black Panther who rose up against white supremacy and acted on behalf of all black women in the Revolution. She was about the liberation of her sisters and brothers in the struggle. She was as complicated as she was intelligent, both a scholar of the history of colonialism and slavery, and a victim of drug abuse. Her gifting us with one of the greatest hip-hop legends of all time is a bonus.
Before her untimely death, Afeni teamed up with director Benny Boom to executive produce the highly anticipated All Eyez on Me biopic, which covers all of Tupac’s 25 years. The production team recently updated fans by releasing the first piece of footage and a photo of Danai Gurira as Afeni Shakur. Stars set to live out key roles in Pac’s life include Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jamal Woolard as Biggie Smalls, Harold House Moore as Dr. Dre, Dominic L. Santana as Suge Knight and Lian Amado as Angie Martinez.
VIBE VIVA reached out to Amado for her thoughts on Afeni’s recent passing, considering she’s been cast to play the person who broke news of Pac’s death to New York City. “It takes a Queen to raise a King. She taught us what it is to be a woman and a leader, fearless and full of compassion,” she said. “I’m happy she got to tell her son’s story from her light in All Eyez On Me— they’re together again. Thank you for your mark, Afeni.”
All Eyez On Me is said to be in the final stages of production. Our condolences go out to the friends and family of the dearly departed. May Afeni rest in freedom.