“My mama always used to tell me: ‘If you can’t find somethin’ to live for, you best find somethin’ to die for” – Tupac Shakur
I celebrate the life of Afeni Shakur today, learning the news of her death yesterday. Why do I have the desire to celebrate the life of someone that I didn’t even know?
I first learned of her many years ago, in some random post online and discovered that not only was she the mother of Tupac Shakur, someone I had always respected as an artist, poet and revolutionary, but she had been instrumental in the Black Panther movement.
I had been studying the Black Panthers after several recurring dreams I’d had of black panthers. Of course, once discovering the purpose and drive of the group – I immediately felt a connection. Also, my birth place was San Francisco, 1964. I was literally born in the birth place and during the birth of what I believe we will all look back on one day as the beginning of “the Revolution”.
I was always led to believe that the Black Panthers were scary, violent people – and I guess to many, especially the system, they were. What I wasn’t aware of, was all the other amazing things they were doing – like feeding children and empowering each other to fight for freedom and equality.
There are several wonderful sources of information about Afeni online (although I found some mysteriously “missing” from the search engines) – so I will just simply list a few at the bottom of this post that I found that I like the most and not go into the story of her life here. I do however, want to highlight why I feel this connection with her.
She was pregnant with Tupac while she was in prison for her alleged crimes. During which, she seemed to be fully aware of the power source that she was carrying inside her. While in prison, she would hold her belly and say “This is my prince. He is going to save the black nation”.
She fought hard for the release of her and her baby, winning over the hearts of many people – so much so that they were able to raise the approximately $70,000 needed for bail so that she could give birth in freedom. Six weeks after her release, she gave birth to Tupac.
She continued to raise her son to be a leader in the revolution, which reminds me of Rose Kennedy reportedly saying that she was also fully aware during her pregnancies that her children would do great things for humanity, and continued to raise them as children in that direction (Robert and John). Interesting that these children would all be killed once they began fully stepping into their power. It also makes me wonder about her death yesterday, on the heels of the recent death of another powerful force, revolutionary and visionary .
I ask you to join me today in celebrating the life of a powerful woman, mother and revolutionary – Afeni Shakur. Please take the time to check out the links below to learn more about her.
May she continue to serve as an inspiration to us all, as we continue the work that she was an integral part of, of shifting our world into one that is peaceful – respecting all life as sacred and equal.