I have an interesting affinity for Tupac and his music. Not just because he was one of the most successful rappers during my early years; and not because I was essentially introduced to hip hop through his music. Not even because my mother was a super fan and made sure that I was familiar with his work. I would say that the affinity came from the storytelling. The knowledge he embeds in this work and the fact that I was often left curious about something after a good listen to his music. I mean, even the fun/party music had lines that I was anxious to understand and decode. (Most we’re child friendly at the time I was listening but hey lol).
My post on Latasha Harlins and Pac took off so I wanted to share another post on a lesson I received from Pac’s music.
His song “Changes.” I would always sing along, but more recently I was listening and realized who “Huey” is. Pac says “‘It’s time to fight back,’ that’s what Huey said. Two shots in the dark, now Huey’s dead.”
Huey Newton of The Black Panthers. Generally speaking, when people think “Black Panther” they think Malcolm X (who greatly influenced the principles and believes of the organization). But really Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the organization in 1966 at Merritt College. Newton born in Louisiana, relocated to Oakland, CA with this family around the age of 3. After teaching himself how to read, he began to question the things that were happening around him, in his family and community. That led him into civil rights activism. Newton was driven by a desire to educate the black community about the legality of self-defense and how it can be used to fight against the oppression and abuse of authority often inflicted upon Blacks.
For better understanding of the Black Panthers, here’s a link to their Ten-Point Program:
“Two shots in the dark, now Huey’s dead,” originated from the August 1989 murder of Huey Newton. Shot twice in the face by a “known” drug dealer that is said to have had affiliation with the Black Guerrilla Family- http://www.nytimes.com/1989/08/26/us/arrest-in-murder-of-huey-newton.html
There are conspiracy theories as to the motives of the murder but it is known that the Black Panther Party had already seen a very public breakdown of leadership and organization with cases of illicit activities plaguing the organization from the leaders down.