Afeni Shakur was born Alice Faye Williams in Lumberton, North Carolina on January 22nd, 1947.
At the age of eleven, Afeni’s family moved to the Bronx in New York City. Years later, Afeni attended the Performing Arts High School in Manhattan, New York popularized in the movie ‘Fame’ behind her wanting to pursue a career in acting.
In her late teens, Afeni met up with a young Muslim brotha named Shaheed who introduced her to the teachings of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. Afeni took these lessons to heart because they introduced her to the concept of African/Black physical beauty and counter-acted all of the conditioning she’d gotten that told her she couldn’t think of herself as beautiful.
*Side note: Any Black man or woman reading this who’s also read my post: ‘Why do so many gay men have model looks?’, should realize the above fact about Afeni is why I opened that post with an explanation of what I meant when I used the term ‘model looks’. Now I remember when I was in high school, this young sista said to me: “Man, God didn’t give us nothing, he gave us big lips and nappy hair.” And I didn’t say anything to counter that cause I felt the same way.
Now, a woman’s physical attractiveness means something a little different to her than it does to a man. Cause a man can be considered unattractive by european standards, but society tells him he can compensate for that by making a lot of money. Whereas, a woman is told that in most cases, ALL the social currency she has is directly connected to her level of physical attractiveness. So can you imagine the pain that both the young sista I was talking about and Afeni were in? Can you imagine being told that women who look like you are considered the least attractive in the world? All I can say is, now that white women are injecting silicone into their lips and butts to look more like Black women, I hope wherever that sista is, she feels differently about herself today.
At the age of 19, while working in the post office, Afeni began hearing about the Black Panther Party. Shortly afterwards, she attended the Black Power Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1968. People who knew her say this was the event that changed her life more than any other. It was then that Afeni decided to dedicate herself to the struggle for Black liberation. And it was shortly afterwards that Alice Faye Williams was given the first name ‘Afeni’ by a brotha who built a Yoruba village in South Carolina. And the name ‘Afeni’ means ‘dear one’ or ‘lover of the people’.
Afeni joined the Harlem, New York City chapter of the Black Panther Party. And within months, she fell in love with and married its chapter leader Lumumba Shakur.
In 1969, the CIA and FBI coordinated efforts to neutralize the Black Panther Party nationwide. As a result, 21 members of New York’s Black Panthers were arrested on bogus conspiracy charges, and two of those 21 members happened to be Afeni and Lumumba.
While imprisoned, Panther members decided that monies should be made available to bail out Afeni first, being that she was the most capable of acting as a criminal defense attorney for the rest of the 21 Panthers. This was before the american government revoked Afeni’s bail. New York City’s Panther 21 trial was well publicized and written about in many books. There, Afeni’s criminal defense efforts freed herself and 20 of her other Panther comrades. And Afeni was pregnant with her son Tupac, at the time.
Now, a couple of days ago, I heard about Afeni’s passing. And from the research I gathered, she made her transition on May 2nd of this year. And when I read a Washington Post article about this I was immediately pissed off for two reasons: One, that rag of a periodical focused more on Tupac’s life than it did his mother’s, which in my opinion, does Afeni a terrible disservice. And believe me, I have no qualms about reading up on the late Tupac Shakur, cause I too agree he was not only one of the world’s greatest emcee’s but he was also my generation’s last best hope for a real Black leader. I’m just saying that everyone reading this should know how Afeni’s life was just as full as her late son’s.
Two, the inbreds at the Washington Post focused on Afeni’s drug use nearly as much as they concentrated on Tupac’s life. Now, in the interest of time, anyone wanting to know about the origins of the 80’s crack cocaine epidemic should get a book called ‘Dark Alliance’ by Gary Webb. In it, Gary details how the CIA worked with the South American Contras, who the CIA created by the way, to funnel cocaine into California. This same alliance later turned the cocaine into crack which they flooded Black neighborhoods with, and this is the same drug Afeni got addicted to. But the plot gets even thicker in Afeni’s case. Meaning, due to her affiliations with the Black Panthers, the FBI made sure Afeni was unable to keep a job in New York. It was at this time that a man named ‘Legs’ McNeil came into Afeni’s life. Turns out McNeil wasn’t only a drug dealer, but he was an undercover agent tasked with getting Afeni hooked on this drug.
Now, Afeni passed in the midst of a contentious divorce battle surrounding her son’s estate. Her net worth had been valued at 50 million dollars and her son’s estate is said to reap $1 million dollars annually. She filed for divorce from her husband, a minister named Gust Davis, but didn’t have a prenuptial agreement. Davis requested alimony payments that would amount to about half of Tupac’s estate, and at the time of Afeni’s death the divorce was unresolved.
So I’m hoping Afeni made out a will before she passed, if not, the courts will decide who gets the proceeds of Tupac’s estate. Hopefully they will go to Tupac’s sister Sekyiwa, but even then, the courts could order her to make payments to Gust based on the fact that he was legally married to Afeni.
I’ll just say for the record that I believe both Prince and Afeni were murdered. And isn’t it funny how they both presided over music catalogs worth millions and possibly billions of dollars without a will?
You’re probably saying, damn bruh…can’t people just die no more, does everything have to be a conspiracy?
Now, behind my making this statement, I know the onus is on me to bring proof of this to anyone reading this Blog, and that’s what I’ll do in my upcoming posts. But before I can provide anyone with any more information, I must do some more research, and that’s what I’ll be mired in over the course of the next few months, so stay tuned.
Until then, I’m documenting the passing of these great icons, and will conclude this post by saying: To the QUEEN AFENI SHAKUR, FOR A LIFE WELL LIVED AND A BATTLE WELL FOUGHT, I SAY REST IN PEACE AND POWER AS YOU TAKE YOUR RIGHTFUL PLACE WITH THE ANCESTRAL ELITE!
AND TELL YOUR SON WE MISS HIM AS MUCH AS WE’LL MISS YOU IN THE YEARS TO COME!