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lesson from Pac | Latasha Harlins

This blog post is in honor of what would have been Tupac’s 45th Birthday!

This post is a re-blog from my original blog, LifeAsShay.com, where I shared my point of view as Hip Hop’s Girl Next Door. Originally titled “Who is Latasha Harlins?”

Latasha Harlins was the 15-year-old girl who’s name I heard in several Hip-Hop songs coming up…I particularly remember hearing Tupac make reference to her as “Little Latasha” in his song “Thugz Mansion.” Surprising as it may be to some, my moms was a HUGE Tupac fan so I had the advantage of hearing his work beyond radio station ride-and-listen sessions in the car.

The line: “Little Latasha, sho’ grown/Tell the lady in the liquor store that she’s forgiven/ So come home.” I thought Latasha was a personal family member or friend and that I’d never get that reference…I wanted to know what happened in the store. So all these years later to find out that she has a real story is so striking to me!

In March of 1991, Latasha Harlins was shot in the back of her head and killed by Soon Ja Du, a then 51-year-old Korean woman. Du and her husband owned a convenience store in LA and one day while Du was working the counter Latasha came in to purchase a drink. A scuffle broke out when Du assumed that Harlins was stealing a drink from the store. Du sntached Harlins, Harlins retaliated with hits and turned to leave the store. On her exit Du shot her in the back of her head and she died on the spot…with the money for her drink still in her hand.

And this is what great Hip-Hop does, it encapsulates a period of time and reflects the culture of that era. I am so glad to have discovered the true meaning of that line and it makes the song that much more special to me.

A lesson from Pac.

stp