Alice (Afeni) Faye Davis (Williams)
|Birthplace:||Lumberton, NC, USA|
|Death:||Died in California, United States|
Daughter of Walter Williams, Jr. and Rosa Belle Williams
|Occupation:||Music businesswoman, philanthropist, former political activist and ex-Black Panther|
|Managed by:||Private User|
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About Afeni Shakur Davis
NY Times Obituary
Afeni Shakur, a civil rights activist and former Black Panther whose tumultuous but close relationship with her son, the rapper Tupac Shakur, was the inspiration for much of his work, died on Monday in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was 69.
The sheriff’s office in Marin County, Calif., confirmed the death and said the coroner’s office would seek to determine the cause.
Ms. Shakur was pronounced dead around 10:30 p.m., about an hour after deputies responded to reports of a cardiac arrest at her home in Sausalito and took her to a hospital, the sheriff’s office said on Twitter.
Ms. Shakur had been the driving force behind an effort to continue the legacy of her son, who died at 25 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996. The killing remains unsolved. She established the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation in 1997, and shepherded the release of new material through his estate.
Last year, snippets of Mr. Shakur’s voice were used in a Powerade commercial and on a track from Kendrick Lamar’s album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” In 2012, a “Tupac hologram” was unveiled at the Coachella music festival in California to much fanfare. A stage musical inspired by his lyrics, “Holler if Ya Hear Me,” had a brief Broadway run in 2014. A movie about Mr. Shakur’s life, “All Eyez on Me,” is also in the works.
Ms. Shakur was born Alice Faye Williams in Lumberton, N.C., and moved to New York with her family in the 1960s, later changing her name and becoming an advocate for social change. She was among the New York 21, a group of Black Panthers accused and later acquitted of plotting bombings in the city in the early 1970s. She was released from jail shortly before she gave birth to her son.
Ms. Shakur was a muse for her son, and her past clearly influenced his music. In the early 1990s, as his career gained steam, his lyrics about police violence against black men caused a backlash because he had advocated violence of his own. “I choose droppin’ the cop,” he rapped on the 1991 album “2pacalypse Now.”
Around the time Mr. Shakur was charged with shooting two off-duty police officers, publicity material proclaimed that his “revolutionary credentials are in his blood.” The charges were later dropped.
In the song “Dear Mama,” Mr. Shakur rapped about his mother’s drug addiction and her efforts to raise him as a single mother, portraying their bond as ultimately rooted in respect and honesty.
About a year after Mr. Shakur’s death, Ms. Shakur discussed those lyrics with the hip-hop writer Davey D. “You have a right to express your feelings,” she said. “I do not have to agree with them. I needed him to say how he felt, specifically about the pain that I had caused him.”
In the months before her death, Ms. Shakur was negotiating a divorce settlement from her husband, Gust Davis, TMZ reported. She is survived by a daughter, Sekyiwa Shakur.
Ms. Shakur’s relationship with her son was an inspiration for other rappers. A letter to her from the rapper Eminem was included in the book “Tupac Remembered,” according to Rolling Stone. “He gave me the courage to stand up,” Eminem wrote.
Others mourned her death on social media on Tuesday. “We mourning an activist,” the rapper Cormega wrote. “A strong woman many related to and a champion of our people who just so happened to be Tupac’s mother. Respect her.”