Social and political activist Afeni Shakur dedicated her life’s work to addressing systemic injustice amid the throes of entrenched racism and oppression, and her relentless fight for change will be the focus of a new film. According to Variety, there is a biopic in the works that will encapsulate Shakur’s legacy.
Shakur—the mother of the late legendary hip-hop giant Tupac—was an influential member of the Black Panther Party. The project—titled Peace, Love & Respect; the Afeni Shakur/Panther 21 story—will key in on two significant years. It will begin on April 2, 1969, when Shakur and 20 other Black Panthers were apprehended and accused of plotting to attack police stations in New York and will lead up to the birth of Tupac on June 16, 1971. The biopic will weave in recollective flashbacks that give a glimpse into Shakur’s coming of age story.
The project—which is being created through the Shakur Estate and Amaru Entertainment—will be executive produced by actress and director Jasmine Guy and activist, writer and director Jamal Joseph who was one of the Panther 21. Dina LaPolt—who has worked with Shakur to settle Tupac’s estate—will serve as a producer.
Guy wrote the book Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary which was released in 2005. “I was honored when Afeni asked me to author her biography,” she told the news outlet. “Now, I have the opportunity to honor her life and her legacy on the screen, and I am very excited to share her remarkable story this way.” Joseph added Shakur “lived a life of challenge, power, rebelliousness, genius and beauty.”
LaPolt says she hopes the project illustrates the impact and influence that women had within the Black Panther Party. “The free breakfast programs, the medical facilities, the newsletter, information about where to go for access to education—that was run by women,” she shared.
Shakur joined the Black Panther Party in 1968 and spent decades advocating for marginalized communities and informing people about their constitutional rights. In 1997—a year after Tupac was murdered—she founded the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to introduce youth to the arts. Shakur died in 2016, but her legacy lives on through a new generation of changemakers.