Dead Rebels

tributes to cultural martyrs

Tupac Shakur: Living and Dying by the Sword

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Imprisonment and struggle surrounded Tupac Shakur even before he was born.

One month preceding to his birth, his pregnant mother, Alice Faye Williams (Afeni Shakur) had just been acquitted of 156 counts charged against her; as she was a member of the Black Panther Party called Panther 21. Lesane Parish Crooks (Tupac Amaru Shakur) was born on June 16, 1971 in Brooklyn, NY. His mother feared her son would be attack by her enemies, therefore disguising their relation and using a different last name. Tupac was raised by Jeral Wayne Williams a.k.a. Mutula Shakur. His family consists of a half sister named Sekyiwa Shakur and a step- brother named Maurice Harding, (Mopreme "Komani" Shakur). The issue of not knowing his father tormented him. He felt "unmanly," he said. Then his cousins started saying he had an effeminate face. "I don't know. I just didn't feel hard." his step father was. After his death, DNA tests revealed William Garland as his biological father.

On the night of September 13, 1996, exactly four months after the 25th reunion of the Panther 21 acquittal, Tupac Amaru Shakur died from respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds; occurring a few days earlier while returning from the MGM Grand where Mike Tyson fought that night. The murderer is still unknown, but it is believed that it was a gang related shooting.

After his death, Afeni Shakur oversaw Tupac's unreleased material and credited for selling Tupac's work. She had producers work with his unreleased material selling millions of albums. Afeni founded In 1997the Amaru Entertainment,holding company for all Tupac's unreleased material, and Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation providing art programs for young people. Seven years after his death, she launched Makaveli Branded clothing line with all proceeds going to his foundation. In 2007, Afeni Shakur filed an injunction to prevent Death Row Records from selling any unreleased material.

“…all the niggas who change the world, die in violence..." - Tupac Shakur Spring 1996

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