A biopic about the late great Afeni Shakur is being developed by the iconic Black Panther party member’s estate and her Amaru Entertainment foundation, according to Variety.
The project which is titled “Peace, Love & Respect; the Afeni Shakur/Panther 21 story,” will uncover Afeni’s pivotal role within the organization following the summer of 1969 when the Black Panthers were charged with conspiracy for the alleged bombing of police stations in NYC. The new film will also give viewers insight into the political activist’s childhood and teenage years, leading up to the birth of her son and rap icon, Tupac.
Former Black Panther member and actor Jamal Joseph will direct the forthcoming biopic alongside Jasmine Guy. In addition to Afeni, Joseph was among the 21 Black Panther Party members who were arrested and accused of coordinating the alleged bombings. According to the film’s producer, Dina LaPolt, Afeni discovered that she was pregnant when she began trial for the incident.
“Afeni had gotten pregnant when she was out on bail. Two of the Panthers absconded, the judge freaked out and Afeni got put back in jail,” she continued. “She was five months pregnant [with Tupac] and made a motion to get a glass of milk for her unborn child! She had a lot of self-confidence, and that’s our movie — it begins with the day she was arrested.” The publication notes that Shakur represented herself on trial before she was ultimately acquitted in May 1971.
“That’s a testament to what a powerful woman she was,” LaPolt added.
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There has been little documentation of the women who helped run the organization’s staunch mission of community building and policy reform. LaPolt noted that the women of the party played a critical role in helping to develop the free breakfast program, newsletter, and medical facilities of different chapters.
Guy, who wrote Afeni’s 2005 biography “Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary,” said she was “honored” when the estate reached out to her to get involved with the upcoming biopic.
“Now, I have the opportunity to honor her life and her legacy on the screen, and I am very excited to share her remarkable story this way,” she gushed.
Joseph echoed a similar sentiment.
“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!” he said.
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