The Ancestors of Tupac Shakur (1971-1996)
by Christopher Challender Child
The following material
on the immediate ancestry of
should not be considered either exhaustive or definitive,
but rather as a first draft.
The information was largely derived from
Look for me in the Whirlwhind:
the Collective Autobiography of the New York 21 (1971),
by (among others) Kuwasi Balagoon, Lumumba Shakur,
Afeni Shakur, Clark Squire, and Jamal Joseph;
and from Afeni Shakur, Evolution of a Revolutionary,
(2004) by Jasimine Guy.
The primary contribution of the undersigned is that of
HTML-izing Mr. Child's work.
William Addams Reitwiesner
Ancestry of Tupac Shakur
Tupac Amaru Shakur,
b. Brooklyn, New York, 16 June 1971,
d. Las Vegas, Nevada 13 Sept. 1996
m. Clinton Correctional Facility, Dannemora, New York, May 1995
b. ... .
a Black Panther in the 1970's,
in the early 21st Century a trucker in New Jersey
Alice Faye Williams,
changed named 1968 to Afeni Shakur,
b. Lumberton, North Carolina, 10 Jan. 1947
m. (1) New York City Sept. 1968 (an Islamic polygamous union, divorced 1971),
Lumumba Abdul Shakur,
b. Atlantic City, N.J. 9 Jan. 1943 as Anthony Coston,
leader of Black Panthers in Harlem,
killed New Orleans, Louisiana May 1985
m. (2) 1975 (divorced 1982),
Dr. Mutulu Shakur,
b. Baltimore, Maryland 1953 as Jeral Wayne Williams,
doctor of acupuncture,
leader of the Black Liberation Army,
incarcerated since 1988
Afeni and Mutulu Shakur had one daughter:
b. ca. 1977,
who has two children,
Malik Greenidge and Nzingha Skakur.
Walter Williams, Jr.,
of Norfolk, Virginia.
Rosa Belle ---,
of Lumberton, N.C.
Rev. Walter Williams
b. Lumberton, North Carolina, 1899
--- Powers (white)
Millie Ann --- (black)
EXTRACTS from the U.S. FEDERAL DECENNIAL CENSUS
The name Shakur (Arabic for "thankful to God")
was first taken as a surname by the father of Lumumba Shakur,
Mr. Coston, after joining the Nation of Islam in the 1960's.
The name was then taken by several close of friends of Lumumba Shakur,
including his wife Afeni
(who had been given her first name Afeni by a Yoruba priestess),
Afeni's later husband Mutulu,
Lumumba's brother Zayd Malik Shakur (born James F. Coston)
and Zayd's close friend Assata Shakur (born JoAnne Deborah (Byron) Chesimard).
Zayd Shakur, Assata Shakur, and Sundiata Accoli
(born Clark Edward Squire, another of the New York 21)
were involved in a shootout with state troopers in
New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1973 that left Zayd
and an officer Werner Foerster dead.
Sundiata and Assata were both convicted and given life sentences,
Assata Shakur later escaped to Havana, Cuba,
where she is currently (2005) a professor
and has been granted political asylum by Fidel Castro.
She wrote her autobiography Assata in 1987.
Mutulu Shakur's charges included helping in the escape of Assata Shakur.
1 -- Several Internet sources claim that
Tupac's original name at birth was
Lesane Parish Crooks and had been changed to
Tupac Amaru Shakur shortly after his birth in 1971.
The source and accuracy of this statement is not clear.
This is not claimed in Afeni Shakur's biography.
3 -- Afeni Shakur's one biological sister Gloria Williams m. Tommy Cox
Lumumba Shakur and Afeni Shakur were both defendants in the
"New York 21" trial of New York based Panthers on a variety of charges,
of which all were acquitted.
Members of the New York 21 that authored
Look for me in the Whirlwhind:
- Kuwasi Balagoon (Donald Weems),
b. Lakeland, Maryland 22 Dec. 1946,
d. 13 Dec. 1986 in prison of complications of the AIDS virus
- Joan Bird [Byrd],
b. New York, New York 9 Mar. 1949
- Cetewayo (Michael Tabor),
b. Harlem, New York 13 Dec. 1946
- Robert Collier,
b. Boston, Mass. 27 Jan. 1937
- Dharuba [Dhoruba Bin Wahad] (Richard Moore),
b. Harlem, New York 30 June 1944
- Richard Harris,
b. East Orange, N.J. 21 Apr. 1940
- Ali Bey Hassan (John Casson),
b. Newark, N.J. 29 Dec. 1937
- Jamal (Eddie Joseph),
b. New York, New York 17 Jan. 1953
- Abayama Katara (Alex McKeiver),
b. Harlem, New York 30 Sept. 1951
- Kwando M'Biassi Kinshasa (William King),
b. Harlem, New York 21 Sept. 1939
- Baba Odinga (Walter Johnson),
b. Antigua 20 Oct. 1944
- Shaba Ogun Om,
b. Harlem, New York 14 Sep. 1949
- Curtis Powell,
b. South Orange, N.J. 25 Oct. 1935
- Afeni Shakur (Alice Faye Williams),
b. Lumberton, N.C. 10 Jan. 1947
- Lumumba Shakur (Anthony Coston),
b. Atlantic City, N.J. 9 Jan. 1943,
killed by police, New Orleans, Louisiana May 1985
- Clark Edward Squire (later Sundiata Acoli),
b. Decatur, Texas 14 Jan. 1937
Look for me in the Whirlwhind
incorrectly states Kuwasi Balagoon's birthname was Walter Johnson.
This is the birthname of Baba Odinga. Kuwasi's birthname was Donald Weems.
James F. Coston aka Zayd Malik Shakur,
b. June 6, 1940, d. 2 May 1973 New Brunswick, New Jersey (SSDI)
Anthony Coston aka Lumumba Abdul Shakur,
b. 9 Jan. 1943 Atlantic City, N.J.,
d. May 1985, New Orleans, Lousiana
Assata Shakur - JoAnne Deborah (Byron) Chesimard, b. ca. 1948
The Complete New York 21
Those arrested on the morning of April 2 were:
Source: Kempton, Briar Patch, pp. 10-2.
- Lumumba Shakur (Anthony Coston)
- Afeni Shakur
- Ali Bey Hassan (John Casson)
- Cetewayo (Michael Tabor)
- Richard Dhoruba Moore
- Jamal (Eddie Joseph)
- Abayama Katara (Alex McKeiver)
- Baba Odinga (Walter Johnson)
- Joan Bird
- Robert Collier
- Clark Squire
- Lonnie Epps
- Curtis Powell
turned themselves in the same afternoon.
- Kuwasi Balagoon (Donald Weems) and
- Richard Harris
were already in jail in Newark on robbery charges,
later dropped, and shortly extradited.
On April 3, police arrested
- Lee Berry
at the Manhattan V.A. hospital,
where he was being treated for epilepsy,
and whisked him off to jail.
- Lee Roper and
- Kwando Kinshasa (William King)
left New York for Columbus, Ohio,
where they were arrested by the FBI in November.
- Sekou Odinga (Nathaniel Burns),
- Mshina (Thomas Berry) and
- Larry Mack
evaded arrest altogether by joining Eldridge Cleaver's
International Section in Algeria.
SOURCES CONSULTED AND CITED
William Addams Reitwiesner