By Paul Russell
3/11/2003 2:00:50 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Afeni Shakur.
Six years after rapper The Notorious B.I.G. was slain, the grief is still fresh for his mother, Voletta Wallace.
"Just the shock of the news, telling me that my son is not breathing ... that pain is unending," she said.
Her pain was eased in the weeks after her son's death, however, by the outpouring of support she received from fans and friends, Wallace said.
So she decided to follow that example by honoring the mothers of other musicians who died untimely deaths - Aaliyah, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, Tupac Shakur, Jam Master Jay, Big Pun, Big L and Freaky Tah - at "B.I.G. Night Out," a benefit for the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation.
"Over the years, they've encountered one of the worst tragedies a mother can ever face, and I'm hoping not to put closure to their loss but just to share a little warmth with them," Wallace said.
She sent a card to Aaliyah's mother, Diane Haughton, after the singer-actress was killed in a plane crash in August 2001. She also extended sympathies to the mother of slain rapper Freaky Tah, Herminia Rogers.
At the benefit Tuesday night in Manhattan, Wallace was meeting most of the mothers for the first time. She said she had no advice for them, but wanted to celebrate their courage.
"It is our way of saying, 'Keep your head up,'" said Wallace. "It's the foundation's way just to let these parents know that we love them."
The Notorious B.I.G. - born Christopher Wallace and also known as Biggie Smalls - was shot to death on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles. His killing remains unsolved.
One mother Wallace has already met is Afeni Shakur, whose son Tupac had a bitter rivalry with The Notorious B.I.G., and was killed six months before him.
The two mothers met at an MTV Video Music Awards ceremony a few years ago. Shakur was not planning to attend Tuesday's event, and sent someone to accept her honor for her, said Wallace.
Wallace said a report last year in the Los Angeles Times that her son was involved in Tupac Shakur's killing - a report Wallace's family has vigorously denied - did not factor in Afeni Shakur's decision to skip the event.
"We have a lot in common," Wallace said.
Like Shakur and Wallace, Connie Mizell's son Jason - Run DMC's pioneering DJ Jam Master Jay - was shot to death. His October killing also remains unsolved.
But Mizell said she hasn't become mired in grief.
"I'm not having any problems coping; I'm a firm believer in Jesus Christ. I have been sad that he will never call me again, but I cannot say that it has deterred my life," she said. "I'm a firm believer that it was Jay's time."
Asked what she hoped to get out of the evening, she replied: "A good time."
"I hope it's not a time of crying," Mizell said. "I hope it's a time of celebration, c
Find out more about Afeni Shakur. Other items you may find on Afeni Shakur include updates, news, multimedia, chat, links and more. Click here...