June 08, 2011

Tupac named for indigenous leader

I don't think I've posted about Tupac Shakur before. Here are the basics about him:

Tupac ShakurTupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971–September 13, 1996), known by his stage names 2Pac (or simply Pac) and Makaveli, was an American rapper. Shakur had sold over 75 million albums worldwide as of 2007, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. In the United States alone he has sold 37.5 million records. Rolling Stone Magazine named him the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time.

In addition to his career as a rap artist, he was also an actor. The themes of most of Tupac's songs are the violence and hardship in inner cities, racism, other social problems, and conflicts with other rappers during the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry.

Early life

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on the East Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City. He was named after Túpac Amaru II, a Peruvian revolutionary who led an indigenous uprising against Spain and was subsequently executed.

His mother, Afeni Shakur, and his father, Billy Garland, were active members of the Black Panther Party in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s; he was born just one month after his mother's acquittal on more than 150 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks" in the New York Panther 21 court case.
This came up because someone asked the following question on Facebook:Here, I got an anthropological question for YOU: why the hell does Tupac Shakur appeal to so many indigenous ppl, worldwide??? For serious, I don't get it. Some kinda universal language of oppression???I don't know about his music, but his parents were Black Panthers. They clearly saw a parallel between the Inca stand against European conquest and their stand against American racism and oppression.

Which Tupac?

Actually, I thought Tupac was named for Tupac Amaru:Túpac Amaru, also called Thupa Amaro (Thupaq Amaru in modern Quechua) (died 1572), was the last indigenous leader of the Inca state in Peru.Not his descendant Tupac Amaru II:Túpac Amaru II (José Gabriel Túpac Amaru b. March 19, 1742 in Surimana-Canas, Cuzco, Viceroyalty of Peru–executed in Cuzco May 18, 1781) was a leader of an indigenous uprising in 1780 against the Spanish in Peru. Although unsuccessful, he later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement and an inspiration to myriad causes in Peru.

Túpac Amaru II was born José Gabriel Condorcanqui in Surimana, Tungasuca, in the province of Cuzco, and received a Jesuit education at the San Francisco de Borja School, although he maintained a strong identification with the indigenous population. He was a mestizo who claimed to be a direct descendant of the last Inca ruler Túpac Amaru.
I guess his parents were really going for the "mythical figure in the struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement" thing.

For more on black-Indian connections, see Thoughts on IndiVisible and Virginia Classified Indians as Blacks.


Anonymous said...

His mother still lives in Cuba.

dmarks said...

"and their stand against American racism and oppression."

Unfortunately, if you look at the facts about the old Black Panthers, they fought FOR oppression.

From Wikipedia: "The organization's leaders espoused socialist and communist (largely Maoist) doctrines"

Maoism has turned out to be the most genocidal of the forms of socialism. It's completely undemocratic and typically requires the extermination of large percentages of the population. Sorry, a group fighting to bring this to the United States is nothing more than a very bad hate group.

dmarks said...

And Anon, it is not surprising that given the nature of the Black Panthers, Tupac's mother is embraced and welcomed by one of the worst fascist regimes in the world.

One that is interestingly enough a white power paradise. The white Castro family enjoys absolute power, while more than half of the population is black.