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Sure; there might always be a possibility that “Rae Rae”, progeny of “Leroy”, might come pimp walking to your doorstep, but that’s where all the long talks about vetting men, being able to spot the players, and discussions on how a gentleman should treat a lady will come in handy.You won’t have to worry because your little babster will take one look at Leroy’s raggedy son and shut the door on his nose.It all started when 17-year-old Athena Dizon unwittingly plays a trick on resident heartthrob and bad boy, Kenji de los Reyes.All of a sudden, she finds herself pretending—unwillingly at that—to be his girlfriend to make his ex jealous.At issue was power: The teachers, who had shut the schools in a dispute over community control?
She took up with Lumumba, a Panther organizer—and adopted the party rhetoric about “offing oppressor pigs,” speaking often as not within earshot of undercover cops.Has Athena gotten herself into more trouble than she can handle?Or has she actually found herself a boy she can call hers—gangster be damned?But the violent world that gave him riches also led him into drug dealing, a prison term, and the dangerous embrace of Death Row Records C. It was a fantastical charge, and Leonard Bernstein, Otto Preminger, Donald Sutherland, and Jane Fonda proclaimed her innocent. “From the moment he was born,” she says, “I measured his life in five-year periods. He was a gift.”He was snatched away just as his music predicted: gangsta-style, in a hail of heavy-caliber metal, fired, fittingly, from a late-model Cadillac. “I know one day they’re gonna shut the game down, but I gotta go around the board as many times as I can before it’s my turn to leave.”Go around, Tupac Shakur did: taking turns without asking, breaking hearts and rules. Robert Sam Anson chronicles a death foretold The song Tupac Shakur’s friends tell you to listen to—the one they say you have to hear to know him as he was—is the rap he wrote for Afeni, who carried him unborn in a jail cell and kissed him goodbye 25 years later in a trauma ward.“Dear Mama,” it is called, and she’s what it’s all about: a single mother on welfare who came home after working late and tried to fix her kids a hot plate; a woman who “even as a crack fiend always was a black queen”; a heroine who “always was committed.”“Tell me,” he cries, “how you did it.”“Even though I act crazy,” he calls out to her at the finish, “I gotta thank the Lord that you made me. You Afeni Shakur listens to that song often these days, at home in the house her son bought for her in Stone Mountain, Georgia.