More than 150 people honored activist and philanthropist Afeni Shakur during a memorial service in Brooklyn on Saturday (June 18).
“She was brilliant, she was erratic, she was gorgeous, she had lots of energy,” Kathleen Cleaver, former communications secretary of the Black Panther Party (BPP), told NY 1. Other former Black Panthers joined Cleaver at Brooklyn’s House of the Lord Church for a ceremony featuring music and speeches commemorating their comrade, who died in May at the age of 69.
“She had that effervescent spirit,” said former BPP leader Dhoruba bin-Wahad to the New York Daily News. ”When the guns were drawn, she was there.” Shakur was one of the “Panther 21,” a group of BPP members arrested in 1969 and charged with conspiracy to bomb New York City landmarks. She represented herself at trial and earned an acquittal after serving 11 months in jail.
Outside of her activism, many know Shakur as the mother of iconic rapper Tupac Shakur. Actress and playwright Danai Gurira portrays Afeni Shakur in “All Eyez On Me,” the upcoming biopic about her son’s life. Check out the trailer here.