Afeni-Shakur_KevinWinterRapper Tupac Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur died of cardiac arrest on Monday night shortly after being taken to an area hospital. Afeni is most known as the subject of one of Tupac Shakur’s  most compelling songs “Dear Mama” (1995). The song details the her relationship with Tupac as he grew up.

Aside from being the mom of a superstar and the wife of a famous Black Panther (Lumumba Shakur), Afeni Shakur was a hero in her own right. Alice Faye Williams, changed her name to Afeni meaning “dear one” or “lover of the people”, after it was given to her by the founder of a Yoruba Village in South Carolina.  As a member of the Black Panther Party, Afeni Shakur was arrested as a part of the famous NY Panther 21.  Her and twenty other  Black Panthers were arrested on April 2, 1969, and charged with conspiracies to bomb police stations, department stores, and other public places in New York City.  In May 1971, she was acquitted of all charges while acting as her own criminal defense attorney.

Afeni was also a philanthropist, she founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation which provides art programs for young people in Georgia.  She also started Amaru Entertainment, where she was managing the holdings for all of Tupac’s unreleased projects.