Afeni Shakur Davis, Mother Of Rapper Tupac, Dies At 69
May 3, 2016 at 1:21 PM (PT)
AFENI SHAKUR DAVIS, the mother of TUPAC SHAKUR, and an inspiration to the hip-hop icon, died at the age of 69, according to the MARIN COUNTY, CA, sheriff's office, it was reported by a number of outlets, including CNN.
AFENI was also a BLACK PANTHER, an activist and philanthropist in her later years. DAVIS apparently died of "cardiac arrest" at her SAUSALITO home MONDAY night around 9:34p (PT). She was taken to MARIN GENERAL HOSPITAL, where she died at 10:28p (PT),
In a 2005 interview ahead of the opening of the now-shuttered TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR CENTER FOR THE ARTS in STONE MOUNTAIN, GA, AFENI recalled how her life was almost derailed by drugs and how her son got it back on track.
In the mid-'80s, she was homeless in NEW YORK and "messing around with cocaine," she said, though coherent enough to realize that her son would become a victim of the streets if she didn't make different choices. "I was running around with militants, trying to be badder than I was, trying to stay up later than I should," she said.
She decided to enroll TUPAC in the 127th STREET ENSEMBLE, a HARLEM theater group. They later moved to MARYLAND, where she placed him in the BALTIMORE SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS, and then to a small town outside SAUSALITO.
PAC told the local drug dealers not to sell to her, she said, and he told his mother to get clean or to forget about being involved in his life.
She got off drugs for good in 1991, and when her son was gunned down in LAS VEGAS in 1996, she resisted the urge to relapse. She instead founded AMARU ENTERTAINMENT to keep her son's music alive.
"Arts can save children, no matter what's going on in their homes," she said. "I wasn't available to do the right things for my son. If not for the arts, my child would've been lost."
AFENI provided the majority of the money to begin the $4 million first phase of the arts center, while her TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR FOUNDATION hosted poetry and theater camps for youngsters in the ATLANTA area.
TUPAC regularly invoked his mother in his music, including his chart-topping song, "Dear Mama," rapping: "And even as a crack fiend, mama, you always was a black queen, mama/I finally understand, for a woman it ain't easy trying to raise a man/You always was committed, a poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it/There's no way I can pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand."
SHAKUR DAVIS is survived by a daughter, SEKYIWA SHAKUR.