In the weeks leading up to the 19th anniversary of her son’s death, Afeni Shakur found herself in an East Oakland, California, classroom trying to answer the question that’s dogged hip-hop for the better part of two decades: Who killed Tupac?
The elder Shakur was dressed in a white linen blouse that contrasted beautifully with her smooth dark skin. Her warm eyes set behind her slightly oversized glasses. Maybe she’s used to that question. Maybe she’s not. But on this day, the person asking who’d killed her son wasn’t a journalist or a rival. It was a small boy, no older than 9, who just wanted to know.
“It doesn’t matter who killed my son,” she said. “It matters why.”