The concept of tough love is a neccessary one-particularly as we close a wild-ass century during which it’s seemed any kind of love is worth getting. In the life of Tupac shakur, tough love seemed a central force.
Hence the aptyl titled collection of writings on the Boy-Man-Gangsta-Lover-Thug, „Tough Love: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur.“ The editors describe this anthology of poetry essays, letters and meditations as „cultural criticism and familial observations.“ The latter is significant, fo as Kwame Alexander’s preface points out, „We must determine and define the parameters by which our culture , and it’s stabilizers, are judged. However, it is not until the sxth entry, by Washington Post writer, Esther Iverem, that the hypnotic mono-chord of why–Tupac was a revolutionary’s baby, his momma was on crack, he loved and hated women, he was beautiful, he was ugly, we wante him to just ackright, etc.–is interrupted.
Iverem tackles the Tupac topic as a thinking jou! rnalist/writer should, moving from the obvious to the violence of the thugs on Wall Street, in Congress and the White House, who may not seem as overt yet who affect us all. After all, tupac is undeniably a product of America.
The overall collection is spirited, albeit some-what rushed and bumpy in spots. Given that in Black America only music makers and sports jocks–with an odd Malcolm or Martin thrown in for balance–attain the exalted status Mother theresa or Ghandi have for others, Tupac deserves this commemoration at least.
„Tough Love“ demands we take the good with the bad, and the sour with the sweet. Self-determination is also part of this love, no matter how ugly it gets.
Mutulu shakur, the deceased’s jailed stepfather, reached the deepest in his letter to his son, the enigma. „go forward tupac, we ain’t mad at you, we’re better because of you.
May Allah bless you for your deeds and forgive your errors.“ Amen
Autor: Michael Datcher (Editor), Kierna Dawsey (Einleitung), Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Kwame Alexander (Editor)