On Tuesday (May 16th) the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to rename a stretch of MacArthur Boulevard in the Lake Merritt area where Shakur once after the iconic rapper. The street will keep its name but gain “Tupac Shakur Way” in addition, with commemorative signs and plaques. The Tupac Shakur Foundation will be responsible for paying for those signs and plaques.
A spokesperson for the City Council said that the Tupac Shakur Way of the boulevard will serve as a lasting reminder of his musical and cultural contributions and provide inspiration for more moments of societal change through art. “Tupac Shakur’s legacy will continue through his contributions in art and social outreach, through his family and fans, touching countless lives of children and elders over the years while alive and after his death, taken too young by gun violence,” the accompanying resolution said. There was no set timeline announced for the change.
The late rapper and actor, who was tragically killed in a drive-by shooting at the age of 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1996, was born in Harlem, New York to Black Panther Party members Afeni Shakur & Billy Garland. He would later move with Afeni to Baltimore, Maryland, and then live in Marin City before settling in Oakland for a time. It was there where he claimed he got his “game” and further expanded his career, linking up with area Hip-Hop legends Digital Underground. “I give all my love to Oakland, if I’ma claim somewhere I’ma claim Oakland,” he once said.
Oakland is no stranger to honoring its heroes. Other notable figures whom the City Council has renamed streets for include Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton and rapper Too Short. The city also has had a history of celebrating Tupac annually since 2016 when they proclaimed June 16th as “Tupac Shakur Day”.