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Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s Mother, Has Died

Tupac's 40th Birthday Celebration Concert
Afeni Shakur speaks onstage at Tupac's 40th Birthday Celebration at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on June 16, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)

TMZ has reported that Afeni Shakur — mother of the late, massively influential rapper Tupac — has died at the age of 69 of a possible heart attack. Shakur had greenlit the biopic All Eyez on Me, which just finished filming, and she was well-known for her philanthropic efforts: she began the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation after her son’s death to found art programs for young people.

Born Alice Faye Williams, Shakur was known as a Black Panther, who acted as her own criminal defense attorney after being accused of taking part in bombings as a member of the activist group. In 2007, she gave the keynote address for Vanderbilt University’s Commemoration for Black History Month. She was in-demand as a lecturer, and also ran Amaru Entertainment, the holding company for her son’s unreleased material, and a fashion line, Makaveli Branded, whose entire proceeds went to the foundation in his name. You can watch her speech at the University of Central Arkansas below.