Icons, pioneers, legends. 'Dear Mama' chronicles the legacies of Tupac Shakur and his mom Afeni

The 5-part docuseries takes a close look at their paths in life and their complicated mother/son relationship.

ByGina Sirico OTRC logo
Friday, April 21, 2023
Tupac Shakur's life and legacy is chronicled in 'Dear Mama'
'Dear Mama' takes an in-depth look at the lives of Tupac Shakur and his mom Afeni.

LOS ANGELES -- He is one of the most influential rappers of all time, an artist whose music is still relevant today, 27 years after his death.

She was an influential member of the Black Panther party, who had a tumultuous relationship with her son.

The story of Tupac Shakur and his mom Afeni is examined in the new docuseries "Dear Mama."

While many facets of Tupac's life have been written about over the years up until and after his untimely death in 1996, this series shows the parallels between how he lived and how his mom lived.

"I thought I knew him and I thought I knew why he was this star, this volatile, this charismatic, whatever you want to call him," director Allen Hughes told On The Red Carpet. "The process of discovering him through his mother, all the pain and the struggle that was beyond typical. It was connected to being a social justice warrior and his mother's history in the Black Panthers. There's so much more meaning, there's so much more purpose in his journey and especially in his mother's journey and that's what the audience will find."

The five-part series includes some never-before-seen footage of Tupac and interviews with the people who knew Tupac and Afeni best. It's named after one of Tupac's most popular songs, "Dear Mama," which he wrote as a tribute to his mom.

"You always was a black queen, Mama.

I finally understand, for a woman it ain't easy tryin' to raise a man."

Jamal Joseph, who was a member of the Black Panthers with Afeni and Tupac's godfather, said there are many lessons to take away from their story, but one stands out.

"I hope that people see this, and see the possibilities of life, a fully lived life and relationships, never giving up hope, even when there's ups and downs, when there's been anger and happiness, to never give up on the possibilities of your life and to live it fully."

You can see more of our conversation with Hughes and Joseph in the video above. The first 2 episodes of "Dear Mama" premiere on FX tonight and will stream on Hulu.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of FX, Hulu and this ABC station.