Items Owned By Tupac Donated To Temple University – Your Black World

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By: Ryan Velez

Atlanta Black Star reports that items owned by rapper Tupac Shakur, including a bullet-dented golden medallion the rapper was wearing in 1994 when he was shot five times, have been donated to Temple University. The items will be displayed on the school’s main campus as part of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. The collection consists of roughly 500,000 items detailing “the global black experience.”

Speaking of the latest addition, Aaron Smith, a professor of Africology and African American Studies who teaches a Shakur-focused class at Temple, said that “For a hip-hop head, this is truly a dream come true.”

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The items were donated by Runnemede, New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions, and were roughly a dozen items in total. Among the pieces included are handwritten lyrics for famous tracks like “It Ain’t Easy” and “I Ain’t Mad At Cha,” as well as handwritten track listings for unreleased albums Shakur was working on before his death in September 1996 from a still-unsolved drive-by shooting.  Another item included in the donation was diamond earing Shakur wore while pictured on the cover of the album “All Eyez On Me.”

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Smith notes that there’s a specific role of jewelry in the life of Tupac. “There is a lot of mystery around Tupac and his jewelry,” Smith said. “To have some of (it) here means a whole lot.”

Diane Turner, the collection’s curator, said Thursday that the Blockson Collection will increase its focus on hip-hop culture with the addition of Shakur’s items.

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“This is just the beginning of a long journey to collect and preserve hip-hop culture,” Turner said. It will be interesting to see as time goes on, how the history of hip-hop goes into black history in the context of museums and exhibitions like these. Who knows what artists of today will be featured in the way that Tupac is right now.

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