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Who is Latasha Harlins?- In Tupac’s “Thugz Mansion”

The Life As Shay Report:

Who is Latasha Harlins?

Latasha Harlins was the 15-year-old girl whose name I’d heard in several Hip-Hop songs coming up…In particular, I 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 rides in the car.

The line: “Little Latasha, sho’ grown/Tell the lady in the liquor store that she’s forgiven/ So come home.” After hearing the song, time after time, I thought Latasha was a family member or friend. I had settled into the fact that I would never understand that reference; however, my curiosity did not subside. I wanted to know what happened in the store. So all these years later, to find that Latasha has a 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. 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 Harlins in the back of her head; 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.

Special S/O to Daily Black History Facts for featuring the article that inspired this post.

Check out Tupac’s Thugz Mansion.

  • http://keeshajasmine.com Keesha

    Thank you for this post! I remember hearing of this but I was so young when it happened. Thus I did not recollect of Latasha Harlins when Trayvon Martin’s case hit mainstream media.. I think there needs to be more posts like this to bring awareness to senseless and racially-motivated violent crimes that go unpunished in our criminal “justice” system. Thank you for sharing.

  • PoetED

    2pac is truely one of the greats. One of the many reason is for situations just like this. His lyrics always had more meaning than one could think. He goes beyond just being a “rapper”. A true poet, activist, and spoke person for the people. R.i.P. Tupac “Amaru” Shakur The GREATEST Of All Time & R.i.P. Latasha Harlins… #YupYup

  • Doll Phace

    RIP Latasha they didn’t do shyt about your death either. It will never end.

  • Shay Me’chelle

    Wow smh

  • http://straightblackpride.com/ Kalyd Dessalines

    The Korean woman was caught on-camera murdering Latasha. (The video can actually still be seen on YouTube). The Korean community came out in full support of the Korean store owner. The judge gave the Korean woman probation. It just goes to show how NO other race, white or Asian, respects the lives of our black children.
    Even worse, the Negro leaders at that time didn’t boycott Korean stores, or tell black people we need to start shopping with ourselves, instead they sought to improve the race relations between blacks and Koreans. They went and did seminars and lectures with Koreans and taught Koreans how to be more deceptive towards black people when they come in and shop in Korean stores. They taught Koreans that they need to “smile more” when black people come into their stores. And it worked. The Koreans now “smile” more when black people come into their stores, but it did not change their attitudes or perspectives towards these very same black people who continue to make them rich.

  • JMdona

    And this is why the Black Lives Matter Movement is so important.

  • Carl Erickson

    It was crazy…the lady didn’t even go to jail…only probation and community service…absolutely ridiculous and sad. It happen shortly after Rodney King, and was kind of lost in the shuffle except in the community in which it happened. RIP LATASHA

  • http://www.mcnmmarketing.com MCNM Marketing

    Well that really sucks! I had no idea about this and I spent a lot of money in those little Korean convenience stores. I practically used used live at the meter box right behind one of the stores. That is so messed up.

  • BLAKK9

    Im tired of people yelling black lives matter every time a black person is killed by another race even though I agree with it. The problem is that there is more black on black murders than anything but no protest are being held to stop it. How can we as a people expect black lives to matter to others when we constantly kill each other every day and do nothing about it? Our lives do matter but if we want others to recognize that then we have to recognize it also. Somewhere somehow we have lost generations of young black men to violence, drugs and laziness. What happened to this young lady was terrible, what happened to the woman that did it was a slap in the face . How can you wrongfully kill an innocent person and only get probation. We built this country but we will never matter until we change our way of thinking and unite as a people. For those who think we didn’t have a significant part in building this country look up inventions made by black people then think about what u find out. SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE!!!

    • Sheri Hall

      One thing … White people kill other white people in higher numbers than Black’s killing blacks. Why should the value we towards ourselves or the lack thereof matter. Murder is wrong. This isn’t a barter and trade agreement. Ate we giving other raves the right to say “We’ll stop killing you if you stop killing you” This ain’t no contingency plan, it’s straight up STOP KILLING US. Only black people say stuff like this. ONLY BLACKS! Though there us more white on whit crime I bet you will never hear one of them say “Why are we mad about____________if we are still killing each other” NEVER!

    • Andrew Phillips

      imagine for a moment that ISIS killed 10,000 Americans in a terrorist attack tomorrow, and someone else says, more Americans kill each other everyday, than isis ever has, where’s your outrage when that happens?
      that right there is the LOGIC whenever I hear someone mentioned black on.black violence in response to a black person being killed by someone who’s not black.

    • lilcece

      No the problem is that when black people kill blacks it gets treated like a crime and we go to jail…but when white people do it its OK they get off as if nothing happened… And its not fair as if killing a black is so regular .

    • J.R. Donalds

      You hit the nail on the head. As a mulatto man, being partially African in America (African American actually means A generation within Africans of America, which Africans of America should practically be the general termonology for blacks IN America!) I view America in accordance with your outlook. My Grandma is Caucasian and she made a very valid point that sticks with me to this day: “You cannot expected to be treated with respect if You act uncivilized.” I agree with this sincerely. Most Blacks in America cannot be viewed respectfully until them themselves respect themselves and each other. Yes I agree that their circumstances are more harsh and may seem absurd but it is absurd and more harsh to them selves to allow themselves to continue this pattern and perpetuate this ongoing occurrence of killing one another. I agree, how can you promote a movement that promotes the prosperity and improvement of black lives and state that they matter, when most only barely adhere to that, and becomes a contradictory matter once you return home to load your pistol to only hypocritically go out and kill another one of your kindred as if it doesn’t matter. Yes, the Caucasian race may have enslaved Africans and brought them to America for an elusive and what now is possibly an unclear reason (for no one has lived from that era to live to tell) but that does not hinder blacks of America to change their mentalities to become greater and rise above their circumstances. If you ALLOW yourself to be an endangerment to yourself and society, as a resulting detreiment, you will be treated as an endangerment and detriment to society. And to bring to light to the whites that molest children, most of them that do are just porn addicts that went too far down the rabbit hole, or been molested themselves as children. And here comes the criticizing! Ha I expect this. But if you study the effects that constant traumatizing conditions and the atrophy of the prefrontal cortex of the brain due to constant streaming of porn can have then you will understand. You will also see the similarities that it has to do with black on black crime. My point is, THE MIND IS IN A STATE OF ATROPHY!!!!! Until you research atrophy and consider all this information I’ve just shared and learn to think critically. You WILL never understand!

  • http://www.yahoo.com/ ffields

    So sad. My heart breaks for her. Did her life matter? Apparently not. Probation and community service? OMG. Black on Black crime has nothing to do with other races or law enforcement killing us. You don’t get a green light just because we have Black on Black crime. Rest in peace Latasha. Your life mattered baby.