Tupac and Society

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Tupac Amaru Shakur immersed in the culture of the African American urban class at an early age surrounded by economic struggle, political influence and incarceration. Tupac was born in 1971 and raised in poor inner-city neighborhoods in New York. Tupac's parents Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland were prominent members of the Black Panther party. Afeni was acquitted on more than 150 charges of conspiracy against the U.S. government but later became addicted to crack cocaine. His godfather was a high ranking Black Panther who was convicted of murder during a robbery and his stepfather spent four years at large on the FBI’s Ten Mosted Wanted list for having helped his sister escape from a New Jersey penitentiary. Tupac’s mother encouraged him to develop his creative and expressive capabilities by enrolling him in drama school at the age of twelve. Thus, from early on Tupac was taught to succeed in two different worlds by learning the language of the “hood”, its religiosity, and its culture of survival and struggle along with the intellect verse from formal schooling in the creative arts and print poetry which were the norms. In 1985, his mother moved him to Baltimore, Maryland to escape the poverty and difficulties of New York and enrolled him in the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts, where he continued the performance education he began in New York. Tupac’s outlook was affected by the increasing hopelessness and worsening conditions in America's inner cities and learned to believe that racism and economic discrimination against the blacks contributed to the poverty. He learned to blame the white race along with the police for these conditions thus developing a leading voice for the urban poor with concerns such as gang violence and challenges single mothers face. He later moved to California and articulated these strong feelings and emotions into words of poetry and black protest music impacting rap music, hip-hop and black culture A high school...
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