the Life of Tupac Shakur





Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on June 16, 1971. Named after an Inca Chief, Tupac Amaru means “Shining Serpent” referring to wisdom and courage and Shakur meaning “thankful to God”. Shakurs mother, Afeni Shakur, was a leading member of the Black Panthers, a radical wing of the civil rights movement, with support for hardcore ghettos as well as white patronage. When Tupac’s mother was pregnant with Tupac she was spending time in the Woman’s House of Detention in Greenwich Village for conspiring to bomb several public places in New York City. All growing up his family lived in homeless shelters and run down town houses. Many times his family could not even afford lighting in the house. The only fond member he ever told of his childhood was of a diary he kept. In this diary he recorded his first attempts at poetry, this is where it began. A big moment in Tupac’s intellectual life occurred when he was twelve. At the age of twelve his mother enrolled him in 127th Street Ensemble, a theater group in Harlem. Even at an early age his mothers political views where confusing, and intriguing him. As he told the January issue of VIBE magazine in 1994, “ She was trying to make me live in the white picket fence lifestyle, but yet we ain’t got no money and no good food and no lights. You want me to go to school? They tellin me all this stuff about fighting the system but they pushin me in the system.” Meanwhile Tupac’s father was serving time in prison, when released Tupac and his mother had moved to Baltimore. Before Afeni Shakur could contact him, he had died of a crack induced hart attack.
While in Baltimore, Tupac auditioned for, and was accepted into, the Baltimore School of Arts. This success gave Tupac a goal and ambition. It also exposed him to white people who cared about his life. However, before Tupac could finish high school at this school of arts, his family moved to Marin City, California.. Because of this move, Tupac never did finish highschool. Marin City, at the time, was nicknamed “the jungle” because it was mainly project housing and had high crime rates.
This is the point in Tupacs life where he claimed he “got off track”. Tupac began selling crack to all the ghetto inhabitants and was soon thrown out of his house. During this time, however, he did receive a positive brake, he was hired as a roadie/dancer for the hip-hop group Digital Underground. After spending a few years with the group and learning the ropes of the entertainment industry he landed a starring role in the movie “Juice”. At this same time he released his debut solo album, 2pacalpyse Now.
With the release of his first record, he also got his first arrest. As one Tupac fan once put it, he never had a record until he released a record. The first of his many offences was in 1991, when he was arrested for jaywalking and resisting arrest. Claiming police brutality he filed a public suit against the police department. In 1992, during a confrontation with old acquaintances at a festival celebrating Marin City’s fiftieth anniversary, a 6-year-old boy was shot in the head. No criminal charges where filed, but there was a civil suit. During the same year a Texas women filed a civil suit against him claiming that the young black male who killed her husband, a cop, had been influenced by Tupac’s music. Also in 1992, Tupac arrived at the FOX Studios to tape a segment when he claims his “limo driver disrespected my homeboy, screaming at him like he was less than a man. The limo driver went to his trunk, we didn’t know if the guy was getting a gun or what (Tupac Shakur(1992) ).” Tupac and his friends jumped out of the car and allegedly attacked the driver. Charges where later dropped. The next charge to come was in 1993 when Tupac was engaged in a fight with directors Albert and Allen Hughes over the loss of a role in “Menace 2 Society”. Also in 1993, on Halloween, Tupac was arrested for shooting at two off-duty, white, police officers. The police where in