Afeni Shakur, Ex-Member of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense
Mother of Tupac Shakur, Rest in Power
As the saying goes, "never forget where you came from." Let's not forget where Tupac Shakur came from. Her name is Afeni Shakur- Davis, born Alice Faye Williams on January 22, 1947; she died May 2, 2016.
Ms. Afeni Shakur was a businesswoman, philanthropist, former political activist, and former Black Panther. She was the mother of the late Tupac Shakur. She acted as her own criminal defense attorney after being accused of participating in many bombings as a member of the Panther 21.
Afeni Shakur founded the Georgia-based Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which provides art programs for youth, and Amaru Entertainment, the holding business for all Tupac's unreleased projects.
The name Afeni was given to her by an African-American man who built a Yoruba village in South Carolina. Afeni means "dear one" or "lover of the people."
Afeni Shakur joined the Black Panther Party in 1968. She says she did not come off the college campuses like many of the other known Panthers. She came from the streets of the South Bronx. She said the Panther Party gave her home training.
When Afeni Shakur was incarcerated she was pregnant with Tupac and she would rub her stomach saying, "This is my prince, he is going to save the black nation." By the time Tupac was born on June 16, 1971, Afeni had already defended herself in court and been acquitted on 156 counts.
Living in the Bronx, she worked as a paralegal and tried to raise her son to respect the value of an education. From childhood, everyone called Tupac the "Black Prince." Afeni named him Tupac Amaru Shakur (Shining, Serpent, Blessed One). She wanted him to have the name of a revolutionary.
Tupac was born June 16, 1971 and deceased September 13th, 1996. He lived 25 years and he left his tremendous mark on the world.
Tupac states that "thug life" is not what common people think it is.
"Thug Life" is the opposite of someone having all he needs to succeed. "Thug life" is when you have nothing, and succeed, when you have overcome all obstacles to reach your aim.
Struggle and incarceration surrounded Tupac Shakur from an early age. Tupac's godfather, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a high ranking Black Panther, was convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery. His sentence was later overturned, and charges were finally dropped for Geronimo Pratt after many years.
Tupac says that when he was 13 he was homeless. Tupac was in the 127th Street Ensemble Theater group, in New York.
In June 1988, Tupac and his family moved to Marin City, California, where he attended Tamalpais High School. He attended poetry classes in 1989.
Tupac's music and philosophy are rooted in the Black Panther Party, Black Nationalism, and liberty. His album 2Pacalypse Now exposed his socially conscious side. On this album, Shakur exposed social injustice, poverty, and police brutality in the songs "Brenda's Got a Baby," "Trapped," and "Part Time Mutha." This album was highly influenced by the social consciousness hip-hop of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Afeni Shakur said in an interview: "Let me first say that any of those songs that Tupac wrote was primarily the way he felt about something. ... I needed him to say how he felt, specifically about the pain that I had caused him, that's how we heal."
Watch this video - Afeni Shakur; Speaker/Philanthropist
The Black Panther Party for Self Defense
The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton on October 15, 1966. The organization ws founded to protect black peoples' neighborhoods from police brutality.
The Black Panther Newspaper was first circulated in 1967. Also that year, the Black Panther Party marched on the California State Capital in Sacramento to protest the ban on weapons. By 1968, the party had spread into many cities throughout the United States: New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, San Diego, Denver, Newark, New York City, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, San Francisco and Omaha. Membership reached a high of 10,000 by 1969. Eldridge Cleaver had a newspaper circulation of 250,000. The group created a Ten-Point Program, a document that called for "Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace."
They worked at the North Oakland Neighborhood Anti-Poverty Center, where they also served on the advisory board. To address police brutality, the advisory board obtained 5,000 signatures in support of the City Council establishing a police review board to review complaints. Huey Newton was also taking classes at City College and at San Francisco Law School.
The men and women of the Black Panther Party were real life "super heroes" of the civil rights movement. They risked their lives to make changes in the government's wicked system. Now this is history that actually happened for a good cause, for the people. The Black Panthers stood for something. That's all it takes, is someone to take a stand for what is righteous.
Black Panther Party Rules
The Black Panther Party had a list of 26 rules that dictated their daily party activities. They regulated participants' use of drugs and alcohol and other actions. The members had to follow the Ten Point Program, and memorize it.
Here are three points from the Ten Point Program list:
- WE WANT FREEDOM. WE WANT POWER TO DETERMINE THE DESTINY OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
- WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE.
- WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES. We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency, which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.
One of the most notorious actions was a Chicago Police raid on the home of Panther organizer Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969. The police had initiated the raid in assistance with the FBI, which had been aggressively targeting the Panthers. The people inside the home had been drugged by an FBI informant, William O'Neal, and were asleep at the time of the raid. Hampton was shot and killed along with his guard, Mark Clark. The others were dragged into the street, beaten, and charged with assault.
On April 7, 1968, Panther Bobby Hutton was killed, and Eldridge Cleaver was wounded, in a shoot-out with the Oakland police. Two police officers were also shot. Although at the time Cleaver claimed that the police had rushed them, Cleaver later admitted that he had led the Panther group on a deliberate attack on the police officers and provoked the shoot-out.
Huey P. Newton Interview - On Racism of Black Men 1988
Assata Shakur - Tupac's Step-Aunt
Aims of the Black Panther Party
1. Self-Defense: it's common sense. But it must be applied correctly; otherwise it can prove more harmful than helpful.
2. Revolutionary Nationalist Ideology: the Panthers struggled for a socialist revolution for U.S. society.
3. Mass Organizing Techniques: This occurred at a time when most Black Nationalist organizations were demanding that the woman's role be in the home and/or one step behind the Black man.
4. Propaganda Techniques: The Party spread its message and ideas far and wide through its newspaper The Black Panther, mass rallies, speaking tours, slogans, posters, leaflets, cartoons, buttons, symbols (the clenched fist), graffiti, political trials, and even funerals. The BPP also spread its ideas through very skillful use of the establishment's T.V., radio, and print media.
Although Afeni Shakur and the Black Panther Party made serious mistakes, they also gained success and made major new contributions to The Movement.
© Sabrina A.K.
Equality, Peace and Liberation for All People, All Races, Both Genders, and in Vietnam and China
My other article
- What Was Tupac Shakur Trying to Tell Us - Tupac's Best Quotes
Civil rights are important for minorities and Tupac knew more than he was trying to tell everyone. He was an activist for the streets.