Synopses & Reviews
One of the most visible figures in both the hip-hop and civil rights movements charts her moral and spiritual development in a stirring and poignant memoir spanning five decades.
As a child growing up in North Carolina, Alice Faye Williams knew that the most important thing her impoverished family lacked was land; as she puts it, The land, to live on and to cultivate and pass on to my family. But there was no land, and in the end her family moved to New York, where in her late teens Alice Faye became Afeni Shakur, a radicalized, prominent Black Panther. In 1969, she was arrested along with a number of other Black Panthers on suspicion of planning bombings -- she spent eleven months on remand before women of all races raised $64,000 in cash to bail her out. She was subsequently acquitted of all charges. While in jail, Afeni Shakur was pregnant with her son, Tupac, who went on to become Tupac Amaru Shakur, a rap megastar until his tragic death in 1996.
Over the course of a decade, the renowned actress Jasmine Guy has been recording the thoughts of Afeni Shakur. In this unique book, Guy reveals the evolution of the woman through a series of intimate, revealing conversations on themes such as love, race, drugs, music, and of course her son. We see how the impoverished southern girl became a leading light in the Black Panther movement; how drugs brought her low; how her recovery filled her with new hope for herself and the future of black women everywhere; and how the work of her son has served to bring renewed hope and courage to people that this country has too often left behind.
Beautifully written, and a beacon of understanding for all Americans, Afeni Shakur:Evolution of a Revolutionary will stand as a powerful testament to the perseverance of one woman, and the power of change and forgiveness.
"Reading the book is like eavesdropping on two close girlfriends. As they talk over greens, yams and fried chicken, you inhale the aromas. You hear laughter and sobs; you feel the warmth and love."
-- The Baltimore Sun
Over the last seven years, Guy spent hours recording the thoughts of Afeni Shakur, the one-time Black Panther who is now the keeper of the legacy of her son, the late rapper Tupac Shakur. Guy charts her evolution through a series of intimate conversations that are organized around such themes as love, race, drugs, music, and, of course, her slain son.
Before becoming one of the most well-known members of the Black Power movement, Alice Faye Williams was not unlike any other poor, African American girl growing up in the impoverished South. But when her family moved to New York during the radical sixties, she became intoxicated by the promise of social change. By the time she turned twenty-one, Alice had a new name -- Afeni Shakur, derived from the Yoruba term for "lover of people" -- and a new vision for the future. The rest is history.
In 1969, Afeni was arrested along with other members of the Black Panther party on 189 felony charges that included 30 counts of conspiracy. Though she was eventually acquitted of the charges, Afeni spent eleven months in jail before being released. Once on bail, she became pregnant with a son: Tupac Amaru Shakur, a rap megastar until his tragic death in 1996.
In this searing work, renowned actress and Afeni's trusted friend Jasmine Guy reveals the evolution of a woman through a series of intimate conversations on themes such as love, death, race, drugs, politics, music, and of course her son. Filled with startling revelations and heartbreaking truths, Afeni's memoir is a powerful testament to the human spirit and the perseverance of the African American people.
About the Author
Jasmine Guy has known Afeni Shakur for nearly a decade, having met her via Afeni's son, Tupac. A multitalented performer, Guy began her career as a dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She moved to acting and television, however, with the starring role of Whitley Gilbert on the hit series A Different World. During the show's six-season run, Jasmine made her film debut in Spike Lee's School Daze and went on to costar in Eddie Murphy's Harlem Nights. Her other big and small screen credits include Kla$h, Diamond Men, Stompin' at the Savoy, Any Day Now, Linc's, Feast of All Saints, and her current role as Roxie in the Showtime series Dead Like Me. Jasmine is married with one child. This is her first book.