In the early days of the seventies, there was a group of people who wanted to shake off the chains of slavery and decided not to keep on standing by, watching how people had to live under others’ hatred and prejudices. The so-called “Black Panther Party” or “Black Panther Party for Self-Defense” today should be known by everyone. This organisation consisted of the aforementioned people not willing to accept people dissing, snubbing and fighting each other, so they decided to do something and started thinking about the issue.
Unfortunately, the members of the Black Panther Party were forced under tragic circumstances to arm themselves, as they were persecuted by the CIA and the FBI. One of those persecuted was Assata Shakur, who was only about 21 years old at the time and who was especially severely persecuted by the state. As time went on, she was being perturbed and psyched out more and more, and according to their own statement, the FBI even tried to kill her. However, she managed to survive, but was later on arrested and committed to prison where she was supposed to stay for many years. However, she was then soon freed by the Black Liberation Army (BLA), and lives in Cuba today, where she wrote some very interesting books. One of them is named after herself, “Assata”, in which she tells the reader about the moving story of her life and shows that each and every one of her attempts to change circumstances in the contemporary society was worthwhile. But she is not yet free, as even today, Assata Shakur is still being hunted for by the FBI, and there’s even a 1,000,000$ bounty on her head.
Another one of Assata’s relatives is Dr. Mutulu Shakur, also known as “Jeral Wayne Williams”. Very early in his life, he put himself out for other people and acquired his doctoral degree. Apart from his human aims to help others, he became soon active in politics. However, like it’s always the case with gifted people like him, he was rather soon considered a thorn in the state’s side and they pinned a crime on him, alleging he had robbed a money transporter and shot a policeman. He managed to hide in the underground, but on February 12th 1986 he was sentenced to 60 years in prison, where he’s still living up to this very day, nevertheless trying to help people. For quite some time, Mutulu was married to Afeni Shakur (Assata Shakur’s sister), and he was as well stepfather of music legend Tupac Amaru Shakur.
Tupac Shakur himself had been politically active through his music for a long time. Unfortunately, however, the media always tore him to shreds, which was a piece of cake for them, since Tupac made at that time controversial rap music and some of his records were even banned and blacklisted, so that his overall status and reputation couldn’t have been much lower. Having been someone who never had to live under the circumstances of slavery, some of his lyrics will always keep on being controversial, as critics say he didn’t actually know what he was singing about, but for people who had the chance to know him better, like Jada Pinkett Smith, Tupac became an all-time hero.
Many of Tupac’s lyrics deal with the human rights and the injustice which still exists in contemporary society. In the course of time, Tupac became as popular and well-known as Martin Luther King and he even achieved a status comparable to him. And as fate willed, Tupac Shakur was murdered, just like Martin Luther King. Tupac was only 25 years old when he was murdered on September 13th 1996. We bid farewell to a legend and thank all those who keep on fighting for the peace of mankind.
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