A biopic on Afeni Shakur has been announced by Amaru Entertainment and the Shakur Estate. Jasmine Guy and Jamal Joseph will executive produce the project according to Variety. It will chronicle Shakur’s time with the Black Panther Party, highlighting April 2, 1969, when she and 20 other Black Panthers, who became known as the “Panther 21” were arrested and charged with conspiracy to bomb police stations in New York, through June 16, 1971, the day Tupac was born as well as her childhood and teenage years through flashbacks.
Dina LaPolt, who has worked with the estate for many years, is a also producer on the film, titled Peace, Love & Respect, the Afeni Shakur/Panther 21 story. LaPolt helped Shakur settle Tupac’s estate.
“Two of the Panthers absconded, the judge freaked out and Afeni got put back in jail. She was five months pregnant [with Tupac] and made a motion to get a glass of milk for her unborn child! She had a lot of self-confidence, and that’s our movie—it begins with the day she was arrested,” LaPolt shared with Variety.
Currently, the film treatment is in the works as LaPolt seeks the right production company to take on the task.
“What we want to do is to take meetings with production companies. We would love to partner with ARRAY or Juvee Productions. I foresee a Black woman director, screenwriter, or Black woman production company [coming on board], that would be our dream. That would be our goal,” she shared with the outlet.
Jasmine Guy authored the 2005 biography Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary. Jamal Joseph, the youngest of the “Panther 21,” and author of the 2006 book, Tupac Shakur Legacy, is now a professor of film at Columbia.
“I was honored when Afeni asked me to author her biography. Now, I have the opportunity to honor her life and her legacy on the screen, and I am very excited to share her remarkable story this way,” expressed Guy.
Joseph added, “Afeni Shakur lived a life of challenge, power, rebelliousness, genius, and beauty.“ He continued, “This is an origin story of a fierce, sexy, trailblazing, woman in Blackness Super Hero!”
The “Panther 21” were arrested and accused of planning and coordinating a bombing and long-range rifle attack on two police stations and an education office in New York City in 1969. All were acquitted by a jury in May 1971. Shakur chose to represent herself in court, although she was both pregnant and had no legal experience. While acting in her own defense, she got a suspect Ralph White to admit on the stand that he and two other agents had organized most of the illegal activities.