In celebration of Mother’s Day, FX has released its first teaser trailer for Dear Mama, a new documentary series that tells the story of Tupac Shakur and his indomitable mother, and activist Afeni Shakur. The series will premiere on FX this fall.
The new teaser shows images of the two layering over each other in pieces, with one completing the other. Over these collaged images, a voice speaks, detailing the dynamics that played out between the extraordinary mother and son. The voice details how Afeni Shakur would challenge Tupac to debates over issues in The New York Times. The voice is very clear regarding the dynamic, indicating that these were not discussions, not time to float ideas and ponder them like the shapes of clouds. But rather, these were challenges, a whetstone to Tupac‘s rhetorical blade. Words, in this sense, are power, and an argument is a craft to be honed like any other. This lesson obviously left an indelible mark on the rapper, who is still remembered for his powerful lyrics even decades after his death.
This new teaser highlights the approach that will be taken by the series’ director Allen Hughes in approaching the duel subjects of his series. The five-part series will explore both of their voices as they worked within two very different generations, joined together by their pursuit of freedom, equality, and escape from persecution. The series will serve as a portrait of each of them as individuals, and also function as a taxonomy of a challenging, intense, and intellectually stimulating relationship between a mother and son who both met extraordinary times with equally extraordinary minds.
The story told in the upcoming series, other than being an exploration of two significant figures in American history, is also a reflection of our own fraught times. Dear Mama is named for Tupac‘s song of the same title. The song explores his relationship with his mom and serves as a tribute to all of the hardships she went through in having and raising him. The song also addresses her struggle with crack-cocaine addiction, which led to hardships in both of their lives. Both Afeni and Tupac Shakur have passed away. Tupac died in 1996, only the year after releasing Dear Mama and Afeni Shakur passed away in 2016.
Dear Mama will premiere on FX this fall. The series will be told in five parts. Each episode will be made available on Hulu the day after it airs on FX. Until then, you can take a look at the new teaser trailer below.