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Tupac’s Mom Afeni Shakur Dies At 69; Not Before Setting Up Trust To Control Her Son’s Music Rights

Afeni started the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation because she believed Arts can save children

Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur Davis, died late Monday night of a possibly from a heart attack at the age of 69.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Department says it responded to Afeni’s Sausalito, CA home Monday around 9:43 PM for a report of a cardiac arrest. She was transported to Marin General Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 10:28 PM. A family member and a close friend were present when she became unresponsive, cops said.

Though she is best known as Tupac Shakur’s mom, Afeni Shakur Davis also was a Black Panther as a young adult and defended herself in court when she was accused of multiple bombings in 1970. She was also an activist and philanthropist in her later years, founding and running the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation after her son’s death.

As keeper of all things Tupac, Afeni greenlit the biopic, “All Eyez on Me” which just recently wrapped filming.

As TMZ first reported, she was in the middle of an ugly divorce battle, her estranged husband is demanding $10k per month for life.

The Marin County Sheriff says the coroner will investigate to determine the exact cause of Afeni’s death. There was nothing suspicious about her death and there’s no evidence of foul play, Lt. Doug Pittman said Tuesday, an autopsy was scheduled for later in the day.

Shakur Davis was a “well-loved, well-respected” member of the community, Pittman said.
“Miss Shakur has had an extensive background not only in the community but her involvement with so many things,” he said. “She’s been a leader, a person people followed. All that said about who she’s been and where’s she’s at now, this is a tragic loss for this community.”

Afeni inspired the 1995 Platinum-single “Dear Mama.”
Everything will be alright if ya hold on
It’s a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there’s no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated
Dear Mama

TUPAC’S MOM MADE SURE HIS MONEY AND MUSIC WERE PROTECTED

Tupac’s mother guarded his music and financial legacy in life, and TMZ has learned Afeni Shakur took extraordinary steps to do the same in death.

Afeni had set up a trust to control all of Tupac’s music rights, and a rep for his estate tells us the paperwork is flawless. She also named the perfect executor, Tom Whalley — former head of Warner Bros. Records — to handle Tupac’s valuable catalog.

We’re told the trust is very specific about heirs, and the money is going to select charities and family. Afeni is survived by her sister, Gloria, and a daughter, Sekyiwa Shakur … Tupac’s half sister.

Her estranged husband, Gust Davis, is not mentioned in the trust — so Tupac’s money and music will be virtually untouchable in that divorce.

Interestingly, Tupac’s mother was repped by attorney Howard King, who also worked with Prince years ago. He says Prince hated dealing with paperwork and rarely listened to advisors, but Afeni was the exact opposite — which is why there shouldn’t be any legal battles over Tupac’s fortune.

The estate has been selective into how it allows Tupac’s music and likeness to be used. Recently, Tupac was featured in a Powerade advertisement with Derrick Rose.

Tupac’s estate released a statement on Twitter regarding Shakur’s passing. 

“We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Afeni Shakur,” the statement says. “Afeni embodies strength, resilience, wisdom and love. She was a pioneer for social change and was committed to building a more peaceful world. An outspoken and eloquent advocate for today’s youth, Afeni founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to instill a sense of freedom of expression and education through the arts. Afeni was a deeply devoted grandmother and sister. Her spirit will forever inspire all of those who had the honor and privilege of knowing her.”

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From Drugs To Arts; Arts can save children

In a 2005 interview ahead of the opening of the now-shuttered Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia, Shakur Davis recalled how her life was almost derailed by drugs and how her son got it back on track. Her drug use made her so oblivious to what was happening in her life that when someone told her in 1990 that her son — then on the precipice of becoming the biggest name in hip-hop was going to be on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” she thought the person was lying, she said. She got clean in 1991, she said, and when her son was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996, she resisted the urges to delve back into her old bad habits. She instead founded Amaru Entertainment to keep her son’s music alive.
In the mid-1980s, she was homeless in New York and “messing around with cocaine,” Shakur Davis said. Despite the drug use, she was still coherent enough to realize that Tupac would become a product 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 in the 2005 interview.
She decided to enroll Tupac in the 127th Street Ensemble, a Harlem theater group, something she called “the best thing I could’ve done in my insanity.” They later moved to Maryland, where she enrolled him in the Baltimore School for the Arts, and then to a small town outside Sausalito. It was there that Tupac confronted her about her cocaine use.
“He asked me if I could handle it, and I said yeah because I’d been dipping and dabbing all my life,” she said during the interview. “What pissed him off is that I lied to him.” ‘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 clean in 1991, she said, and when her son was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996, she resisted the urges to delve back into her old bad habits. She instead founded Amaru Entertainment to keep her son’s music alive.
Later, she realized that her life — mistake-ridden as it may have been — might serve as a lesson to others.
“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.”
She 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. The family said she established the foundation to “instill a sense of freedom of expression and education through the arts.”
“I learned that I can’t save the world, but I can help a child at a time,” she said, pointing out that her new life of philanthropy wouldn’t have been possible without the influence of her legendary son. “God created a miracle with his spirit. I’m all right with that.”

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About AJ Woodson (2268 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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