ATLANTA,GA. (Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation) - Nine years to the day after Tupac Shakur's passing, the official Unveiling Ceremony for a brand new memorial bronze statue of the late rap legend proved to be a rousing celebration of life. Over 1,000 people turned out for the unveiling, which was held at the Peace Garden at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts (TASCA) on Tuesday, September
Ms. Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mother and founder of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF), found the ceremony to be an emotional, yet joyful, experience. Ms. Shakur was overwhelmed by the turnout for the latest addition to the Tupac Center, which recently opened the first of three phases of construction, and will ultimately represent the legacy left behind as Tupac's vision, fully realized through his mother's efforts.
The statue will occupy the center of the 6-acre Peace Garden, surrounded by poetry and quotations from Tupac. The seven-foot sculpture sits atop a three-foot base and features rap's top-selling superstar adorned in a suit (based on an outfit actually worn by Tupac) and holding a copy of his famous book of poetry penned when he was only 19, "The Rose that Grew from Concrete."
Reverend Minister Server led the attendees in an exhilarating, heartening prayer, followed by a moment of silence in memory of Tupac and "all the other fallen souls."
The statue was designed by noted sculptor Tina Allen, who has earned a reputation immortalizing great figures from African-American history ranging from Nat King Cole to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tupac is the first rap star ever to be memorialized in bronze.
Ms. Allen said, "I was deeply moved to see so many people brought to tears upon first seeing the sculpture - it was clear that something very special had come into all of our lives through this remarkable young poet. Usually, people will applaud or cheer - but these people were reacting to Tupac's statue on an entirely different level. Every generation picks their own heroes - and from the incredible display of emotion I was blessed to witness on Tuesday, this generation's hero is clearly Tupac Shakur."
On September 20, Tupac Shakur's poetry is celebrated by some of hip hop's finest with the release of The Rose, Vol. 2, a collection of songs inspired by the poems Tupac wrote as a teenager. The tracks on The Rose, Vol. 2 are original songs written and performed by an impressive list of guests - including Bone Thugs 'N Harmony, Ludacris, Talib Kwali, Outlawz, Lyfe Jennings and Digital Underground's Shock G (AKA Humpty Hump), the man most responsible for launching 2Pac's solo career.
In order to complete the Tupac Center, the Foundation is still in need of an additional $3 million. For those wishing to contribute, information can be found at these websites: