Famous former Black Panther member Afeni Shakur is the subject of a new biopic from Amaru Entertainment and the Shakur Estate.
Shakur is well known as a Black political activist and mother of the late rapper Tupac. The project, titled Peace, Love & Respect; the Afeni Shakur/Panther 21 Story, will chronicle a tumultuous two-year period in Shakur’s life and is the first film to have the full backing and approval of the Shakur Estate.
After hearing Bobby Seale speak, Shakur joined the Black Panthers in Harlem where she met Tupac’s father. She joined 20 other members in Harlem, creating The Panthers 21.
In 1969, Shakur and her Panthers 21 comrades were arrested and charged with conspiracy to bomb two police stations and an education office in New York. Shakur famously represented herself and was eventually acquitted.
Peace, Love & Respect; the Afeni Shakur/Panther 21 Story focuses on the trial and her pregnancy with Tupac (who she became pregnant with while out on bail) while supplementing the story with flashbacks to Shakur’s early years.
The biopic concludes with Tupac’s birth, two years after The Panther 21 were arrested. Shakur went on to become the executor of her son’s estate after his death, serving as CEO of Amaru Entertainment before her death in 2016.
While The Black Panther Party has been extensively studied and documented since its inception, the women of the political organization are often overlooked. The Black Panthers famously organized free breakfast programs and provided access to medical treatment, but what’s often left out is how women primarily ran these initiatives. Shakur is one of the many women who cemented The Black Panthers’ place in history.
As Jamal Joseph, the youngest of The Panther 21, exclusively told Variety, “Afeni Shakur lived a life of challenge, power, rebelliousness, genius, and beauty. This is an origin story of a fierce, sexy, trailblazing, woman in Blackness Super Hero!”
Joseph, a writer and film professor, has signed on as an executive producer alongside lawyer Dina LaPolt, who has worked with the Shakur estate for years. Singer, dancer, and actress Jasmine Guy is also working on the project. Guy, who had a close relationship with Tupac, penned Shakur’s biography Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary.