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Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  47 reviews
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 -- Afe ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Atria Books (first published 2004)
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Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Immediately, I thought Afeni and Jasmine were an unlikely collaboration and I was curious to know about their relationship. I have always been a fan of both women. I loved Jasmine every since she was Whitley on A Different World and I have always wanted to learn more about Afeni. I knew she was the mother of legendary rapper Tupac and that she was a prominent figure in the Black Panther movement, but nothing other than that.

After sitting on my bookshelf for some months, I finally sat down to rea
Winter Sophia Rose
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt, Engaging & Moving! A Fascinating Read! I Loved It!
Thorn MotherIssues
May 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2009
I've been reading a lot about activists and leftists in the '60s and was mostly hoping for that, but Shakur's life story beyond that was interesting too. I still need better books on women in the Black Panthers.
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
This was a brutally honest memoir of Afeni Shakur, co-written with Jasmine Guy. Of her trials in life, Afeni learned from it. Jasmine seems to have wanted us in the room with them as they spoke and I loved that. I felt close to both of them. It took her some time for Afeni to even out her course. However, with this book, she gave it back to Jasmine (as she later notes), to me, to all of us, who read about it, as a testimonial of gratitude and extra chances.
Clifford  Onehundredd
Afeni was beloved mother and Panther to the man I've idolized all my life...she forever will have my respect. Jasmine Guy did a beautiful and brave thing sitting down with Afeni to hear her story. I believe Afeni can teach all other black women what resilience and courage really is. Although I have a different account of what happen to my Teacher Pac I'm understand that his absence left a void in the family and his friends. I sometimes wonder what type of world we live in when all the pressure i ...more
Eric Piotrowski
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised to find a biography of Tupac's mother written by Jasmine Guy. I'd only known her from A Different World, but she was a good friend of Pac's, and became close to his mother (and the rest of his family) after he died. This is a very interesting, powerful, and well-written look at her life and the stories behind "Dear Mama". A must-read for anyone interested in hip-hop, the Black Panthers, or what happens when a movement skids out of control. (Shakur says "We dropped the ball.")

My h
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it
A very interesting story. I loved hearing Afeni talk about her time with the Black Panthers and thne on trial. Hearing about her drug addiction was interesting, but I was disappointed that it effectively took over her life and thus the remainder of the story after the trial in her 20s. I really did not enjoy the presentation. The author just describes interviewing Afeni and quotes her, occasionally adding commentary which I also didn't enjoy the content of. For those looking for information abou ...more
Jasmyne Rogers
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Afeni Shakur: The Evolution of a Revolutionary is my favorite book. This book is beyond powerful! It entails a great deal of African American history- the affects of slavery, the Black Panther movement, and Hip Hop in the eyes of the late Tupac Shakur embodied in one single, yet strong African American woman. This book reads as a conversational dialogue and I immediately engaged in Afeni's story about life, struggle, and progression. This book has changed my perspectives and life in many areas.
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I felt as if I was talking to mom...or sitting in on the conversations between Jasmine and Afeni. Very thankful to have read this book and received some of Afeni's wisdom. I finished this book on the day before Tupac was killed 19 years ago. It was very powerful.
Lisa Kekaula
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a very candid book written by Jasmine Guy about the mother of Tupac Shakur. I was floored by the honesty in this book and the courage to live through what she lived through.
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
jasmine guy is an incredible writer and afeni is an incrediblely strong woman! this book is an emotional journey and it was worth every single step!
Victoria Law
If, like me, you didn't know much about Afeni and/or Tupac Shakur before picking up this book, you may still be left with questions and holes in your understanding about them and their lives. I understand that Guy intended for this to be a reflection of their conversations, but I think the book would have benefited from her filling in the gaps.

The book doesn't go deep into the Panther 21 case (in which everyone, including was acquitted), which is a shame considering the current politically-moti
Kira Caillouet
Jasmine Guy, known as Whitley Gilbert on the 90's sitcom Different World, portrays her dear friend Afeni Shakur in an honest and respectful matter. I appreciated how she takes into account others' perspectives of Ms. Shakur instead of solely relying on her own words and their friendship. In this biography, we learn of Ms. Shakur's activism in the 60's and the 70's. She steps out in the spotlight of her son Tupac to become center stage in her own story.

The title and the author attracted me to the
Stephanie Givens
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! I've heard about the Shakur family's struggles and hardships. I had no idea however, the Intensity and hardships Akeni Shakur faced as a child, Black Panther, Wife and Mother. She overcame struggles and obstacles that seemed insurmountable. My true admiration was her ability to take accountability for her actions rather than placing blame. I applaud Jasmine Guy for the detailed descriptions that made me feel like a third person in the room mesmerized by Akeni's story.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A wonderful book told striaght from the mouth of Afeni through Jasmine Guy. Although I knew some things about Afeni I was amazed at her ability to be self introspective and be open about the most painful times in her life. Her candor about her relationship with her children and her desire to hold herself accountable for the pain she has caused. Most importantly through all the pain, tragedy that has taken place, it was so refreshing to see her at peace with her story. Great read.
Morgan Donathan
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

To see Afeni's story written so raw and beautifully and also to have Sekyiwa open up as well is a real treat. It also gives a lot more context to Tupac's songs such as "Dead Mama" as it allows the reader to really envision the hurt and pain all 3 of them endured in that time together and apart.
Nila Muhammad
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Afeni Shake is: Evolution A f A Revolutionary

A very compelling book. I love it. I was skeptical to buy but I am ecstatic that I did. One fact the author should have covered more. The book should have been longer.
Aisha Francis-Samuels
Happy to have leared about the fierce and fragile Afeni Shakur. The text gets repetitive at times, but writing this was clearly a labor of love for Jasmine Guy.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dynamic-reads
This book really is good (and engaging) as it is, and perhaps is enough, though at times I found myself wanting to read Afeni telling her story... full-on-out herself.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I didn’t begin Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary with any expectations. I had my eyes on this title for a while because of knowing her as the mother of Tupac. I didn’t know anything concrete or substantial about her other than the fact that she was a member of the Black Panther party and birthed one of hip-hop’s most intellectual rappers. It, honestly, wasn’t until after her death that the book became one that was necessary for me to tackle. I, like many others, witnessed the outpouring ...more
Apr 06, 2017 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: GR list "Social Justice Warfare"
This book tells Shakur's stories by way of a series of reflective conversations with Guy, so at times I wished it went deeper and felt sort of like the book was merely a stone skipping across the surface of the deep lake that is Shakur's life, but there is something to be said for the conversational style -- it makes the reader feel like you're right there in the room for these intimate conversations between friends.

Shakur speaks powerfully about why she joined the Panthers -- both about their p
“It’s all about acceptance. Accepting time. Accepting change. And change was a big one for me to accept because I could always feel it coming.” She is thoughtful now, but not sad. “The winds of change. I could always feel them,” she says again. “Before the change occurs even. I used to react to the winds because I would be thrown off by them. I felt out of control, and I didn’t like that. Now I know that when change is coming I must be calm. I must be still instead of frantic. I visualize that t
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Agency is such a powerful thing. Anyone familiar with Tupac's "Dear Mama" knows the story of Afeni Shakur - or so it may seem. I can attest that it doesn't even come close to illuminating the complexities of the life of Afeni Shakur. Speaking with such profound clarity, Afeni holds no illusions about her mistakes and her imperfections. But she is so much more than her missteps, and Jasmine Guy craftily ensures that we see Afeni as a whole woman. Her story is the story of black women in America. ...more
Jasmine Holloman
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An avid Shakur family fan and follower, I have always dreamed of meeting Afeni Shakur. Those dreams were wiped away when she passed last summer. I immediately purchase this book, but it took me a while to begin, for I still hadn't grappled with her death.

I am so glad that I finally gained the strength to open the first page. Jasmine Guy, an actress and close friend of Tupac Shakur, tells Afeni's story, one of strength, heartbreak, addiction, and rehabilitation. Guy moderates it as if you are si
Dimitri Kizer
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book. I would definitely recommend it to someone. It was very interesting and relatable. My favorite part was when Jasmine went to go talk to Afeni's daughter. They talked about her tuff childhood and how she had to take care of herself while her mother was on drugs. Also how she had to for give her mother for a lot of things she did. Which ties in with the theme.
Another reason why I like the book is because of the theme. The theme is to always forgive people. I think that is t
Bianca Burrell
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This would've received five stars but I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing style. Just didn't flow as smoothly as I would've liked. Other than that it was a great read. I loved the candid relationship between Jasmine Guy and Afeni Shakur. I really enjoyed learning about some of the women in the black panther era. That section could be a very interesting book on its own.

If you are looking to learn more about Mr. Tupac Shakur, this isn't the book for you. Instead you will learn about Ms. Afeni
Oct 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read this book quickly. I found it very moving especially the parts where Afeni reveals her humanity through her failures, and later her successes. Her spirit and love of her present life endures in these pages. She reveals her past the characteristics of her parents that influenced her, her membership in the B.P.P. and her trial. The most moving and triumphant sections is where she opens about her addictions to coke, and later crack. She connects her new found joy and love for her own life to ...more
Black Carrie
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WHAT A GOOD BOOK !!!!! SOON AS I OPENED THIS BOOK THE PAGES PULLED ME INTO THIS FASCINATING DESCRIPTIVE STORY ! I WANTED MORE EVEN WHEN I TOOK BREAKS FROM THE BOOK I FOUND MYSELF DREAMING WHAT WILL HAPPEN. I was totally immersed in the conversations between Afeni and Jasmine. I felt as though I were right in the room with them, hearing the stories first hand. It would be very wrong to assume that Ms. Guy is only an actress. She writes with such eloquence and candor that one must also call her 'a ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Although, I wasn't crazy about Guy's writing style, I admire her courage to write a story that captures important glimpses of Shakur's life. I also admire Shakur's candid nature, it takes a person who is at peace with their life to allow it to be chronicled. I will even apply some of the steps she mentioned from her AA classes to my own life. The title of this book is quite fitting. Thank you Jasmine and Afeni.
I got rather bogged down after the first 75-100 pages. The story was not paced well or to my liking.

Much of this is a fascinating story and one that should be related frequently as it changes the views of many people about a particularly misunderstood US era in history.

Jasmine Guy is a great friend but sometime the writing does not serve the story.

This is a 'to be read again later' book for me. I wonder if I read it in fewer 'sittings' if it might not flow better.

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Jasmine Guy is an American actress, director, singer and dancer. She is best known for her starring role as Whitley Gilbert in the television sitcom 'A Different World,' and as part of the ensemble cast of 'Dead Like Me.'