Maya Angelou Had Some Choice Words For Tupac In 1992

tupac graffiti
Alyssa Guzik
March 22, 2024

Tupac was on the rise in the early 1990s. He was ‘Pac the respected rapper, self-proclaimed thug, and actor – and he spoke his mind in every setting. However, there was one particular moment where speaking his mind landed Pac in a heated argument with another man on the film set of “Poetic Justice” – and it led to a truly unforgettable moment.

As he cursed and yelled, a warm voice broke through the haze. “Let me speak to you.” Maya Angelou’s arm rested gently on his shoulder. Angelou, who made a cameo in the film, was on set that day and witnessed Pac’s rage – and helped guide him back to peace through her words.

“Do you know how much you are needed? Do you know what you mean to us? Do you know that hundreds of years of struggle have been for you? Please, baby, take a minute,” she said before finally sharing: “When was the last time anyone told you how important you are? Did you know our people stood on auction blocks, were sold, bought and sold, did you know so that you could stay alive today?'"

Those words of understanding and empathy from Angelou made Tupac weep. The rest of the time on set gave him a therapeutic outlet. He took that single moment of empathy and channeled it into his films and his music going forward

What Angelou did in that moment is something we all take for granted. She shared a moment of understanding, empathy, and love with someone who clearly needed it. Sharing moments like that with those around us builds a strong community that passes those lessons on for generations to come.

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