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Hip-Hop News: Elridge Cleaver Speaks on 2Pac
Elridge Cleaver, former Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party, speaks on Tupac in an interview at PBS.
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
3/4/2003 1:41:46 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include 2Pac.

Elridge Cleaver, former Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party, speaks on Tupac in an interview at PBS. Below is the transcript in reference to Tupac, be sure to check out the entire interview.

GATES: Eldridge, many people compare Huey Newton with Tupac Shakur. And some people even suggest that without a gangster culture, that is, 30 years ago, a person like Tupac would have emerged as a leader of a revolutionary group like Huey P. Newton.

CLEAVER: This is an a historical perspective because they do not understand that Tupac is a child of Huey Newton and Malcolm X. That Tupac would not have been who he was had he not been born of parents who followed Huey Newton. Afeni Shakur and Amumu Shakur were members of the Black Panther party. And it was because of that experience that they were able to raise Tupac with the mentality and the spirit that he had. So talking about going back like that, saying that Tupac would have been Huey, you cannot unring the bell.

GATES: But Tupac was a gangster, wasn't he?

CLEAVER: Huey was a gangster.

GATES: Oh, he was?

CLEAVER: I'm not-- I'm talking about a real gangster. Tupac, they were talking about gangster rap. Huey P. Newton was a gun toting gangster, but that's not all he was. I'm saying he went through that experience as a criminal, but the thing about Tupac was his spirit and his rebellion against oppression. This comes from the way that he was raised and the values that were transmitted to him.

His father died in a gun fight with the New York police department and so Afena was a very strong stalwart of the Black Panther party and Tupac was raised like that. He is what we call a panther cub. And that was what he was about.

And that is why it was such a blow, [Tupac's] liquidation, and many people think that it was the COINTELPRO that took him out because the story doesn't hold up because anybody who knows Las Vegas knows that after the Mike Tyson fight there, there is no way that anybody going to drive along upside of another car, shoot them and drive away because it's gridlocked for blocks around there, man. So that is not what happened. There is more to it than that.

Click here to view the entire interview

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