Tupac Shakur

by ethnic on April 25, 2009

1996 MTV Video Music Awards

Birth Name: Lesane Parish Crooks

Date of Birth: June 16, 1971

Place of Birth: East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: September 13, 1996

Place of Death: Las Vegas, Nevada

Ethnicity: African-American (including, possibly, Tuareg)

Tupac Shakur was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor.

He was the son of African-American parents, William Garland and Afeni Shakur (born Alice Faye Williams). He was born Lesane Parish Crooks. He adopted his surname, “Shakur”, from his stepfather, black nationalist Mutulu Shakur (who was born Jeral Wayne Williams). His mother gave him the name Tupac Amaru after the Peruvian revolutionary Túpac Amaru II. His parents were Black Panther members. His mother was also a businessperson, philanthropist, political activist. His stepbrother is rapper Mopreme Shakur.

His father is said to have Tuareg heritage, an African ethnic group. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

Tupac’s maternal grandfather was Walter Williams, Jr. (the son of The Rev. Walter Williams and Lena).

Tupac’s maternal grandmother was Rosa Belle McLellan (the daughter of Kennie McLellan and Rosa Lee Powers). Kennie was the son of Peter McLellan. Rosa’s father was Robert Powers, who was the son of a slave named Jeffrey Powers. Rosa’s mother was Millie Ann Wooten.

Sources: Genealogies of Tupac Shakur (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://www.wargs.com

Tupac’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Robert Powers, on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Tupac’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Jeffrey/Jeff Powers, on the 1850 U.S. Slave Schedule – https://familysearch.org

Photo by Prphotos

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Manila August 12, 2017 at 8:24 am

His African-American ethnicity includes Tuareg.

Rosa Belle’s maiden surname is McLellan, and was the daughter of Kennie McLellan and Rosa Lee Powers. Kennie was the son of Peter McLellan. Rosa was the daughter of Robert Powers and Millie Ann Wooten.

REMARK: Take note that Robert Powers was black. Here’s his 1870 U.S. Census: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MW8B-F31
Robert’s own father, Jeffrey Powers, was also black. On his slave master Matthew Powers’ 1850 slave schedule, he was aged 22 and black rather than mulatto: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-673S-4V9

Manila August 12, 2017 at 7:20 am
ethnic June 17, 2017 at 7:08 am

saw the movie. worth a watch.

follers June 21, 2017 at 12:16 am

In the movie, Ted Field states that he is Jewish.

Kidada Jones never says she’s Jewish.

What’s wrong with this picture? Ted Field? Really? Why not J. Paul Getty?

andrew June 17, 2017 at 5:12 am

Tuareg mostly live in Sahara desert, not in Sub-Saharan Africa

fuzzybear44 June 17, 2017 at 11:29 pm


The Tuareg are also in so called sub- Sahara. Also the boundaries you see today weren’t around back in those days, they were European made , Nothing stop the Tuareg from going into that area. During the slave trade days, Everybody was fair game to be taken, including the Tuareg(which many were)

andrew June 18, 2017 at 1:27 am

Yes, but Tuaregs are ethnically/culturally North Africans (Berbers). Also Sahara desert is bigger now than in the past, and it’s growing more and more. When I was at university at history department I read a French essay about slavery. It told how slavery alwais existed in West Africa, way before the arrival of Europeans. Many of the slaves taken to New World were kidnapped during tribal wars between local clans, then sold to Europeans. I will look for the title of the book if you’re interested.

fuzzybear44 June 19, 2017 at 1:43 am

We’ll say that they are ethnically mixed-blooded, but yes culturally North Africa( however they are also living in places like Ghana and Nigeria)

Quote( When I was at university at history department I read a French essay about slavery. It told how slavery alwais existed in West Africa, way before the arrival of Europeans)

Yes slavery was around before the Europeans came, however it was a little different than the Euro version that came later, and it was not always there. Also For instance, one version let a slave go home, and come back day after day until he paid of his debt. Granted there were Arabs like ( Sonni Ali) who was nicknamed the bloody for a reason.

The French are fun, testing atomic bombs on the Tuareg. However yes wars between clans was one of the ways Tuareg ended up in slavery. On there way to sell others, they themselves were attacked and sold(funny isn’t it)

As for the book, thank you but not necessary. I’m the Afrocentric remember, I have all kinds of stuff about African history

memphis June 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

Tupac in the photo posted looks more Fulani than Tuareg.

andrew August 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm

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