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THURSDAY

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Afeni Shakur can’t be held back. In her biography, Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary, rapper Tupac’s dear mama recounts the tragedies of her life—childhood violence, racism, drug addiction, a 1969 jail stint resulting from her involvement with the Black Panther Party, and the death of her famous son in 1996—and emerges as a battered but heroic cultural figure. Unfortunately, Shakur’s biographer, actress Jasmine Guy, bogs down the triumphant tale. Guy pieces together Shakur’s life from conversations between the two women—and feels compelled to add tidbits about herself. Her asides about her relationship with the Shakur family are distracting, as is her determination to use Shakur to draw broad conclusions about black women rather than letting readers make such leaps on their own. But in the end, the fact that Guy is unable to derail the narrative only proves the resiliency of Shakur and the power of her story. Shakur discusses the book (without that meddling Whitley Gilbert) at 7 p.m. at Borders, 18th and L Streets NW. Free. (202) 466-4999. (Sarah Godfrey)