Tupac Amaru Shakur - All Eyes on HimTupac Amaru Shakur is arguably one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Growing up in the Bronx and Harlem, Tupac learned and excelled in learning from experience and how to survive in the struggle, both characterize African American working class speech culture. At the same time Tupac also absorbed influences from his mother's political past which included Lumumba Shakur, his mother's husband and his brother, Muula Shakur, all former Black Panther activists. Tupac learned to believe that racism, economic discrimination and other forms of oppression contributed to the poverty and powerless of working class Blacks.
He learned to blame the so-called white establishment, including the police, for these conditions. As White (1997:48) points out "The Shakurs' tribal activism had become a legend and a legacy [for Tupac]." White (1997:48) quotes the journalist Ron Howell as reporting that, "At fifteen, Tupac must have been thoroughly convinced that to be a Shakur was to confront the possibility of death at an early age.
He was learning such lessons almost before he could walk." This indoctrination seemed to have been successful because Tupac at the age of 10 is reputed to have expressed a desire to grow up to be a revolutionary.
Tupac Shakur's death on Friday, September 13, 1996, at the early age of 25, brought to an end a complex life marked both by personal controversy and artistic success. His impressive achievements include six solo rap albums, over 30 singles, starting or significant roles in six movies and a body of poems anthologized as The Rose that Grew from Concrete and published posthumously by his mother, Afeni Shakur. Tupac was clearly a performer with multi-dimensional abilities whose contributions to his art deserve to be studied from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints...