During a momentous meeting held on May 16, 2023, the Oakland City Council made a unanimous decision to pay tribute to one of the city’s most iconic and influential figures by renaming a significant stretch of MacArthur Boulevard. The resolution passed by the elected officials commemoratively designates the portion between Grand and Van Buren Ave. as “Tupac Shakur Way,” recognizing the enduring legacy of the legendary rapper and activist.
The initiative aims to honor Tupac Shakur’s remarkable contributions to Oakland and the broader Bay Area community. By retaining the existing street name and adding an honorary designation, the city seeks to celebrate the profound impact of Shakur on the region’s cultural and social fabric. The additional honorary street name will be accompanied by commemorative plaques and/or signs, as a permanent reminder of Shakur’s enduring influence.
In a statement addressing why she brought forward this resolution, Councilmember Carroll Fife says:
“This street renaming reminds us of Tupac Amaru Shakur’s life, legacy and contribution to Oakland, California. With what seemed to be ef ortless skill, this Black Panther Party Cub influenced hearts and minds while highlighting the contradictions of the brand of “American exceptionalism” that “has money for wars but can’t feed the poor”. In addition to his theatrical and literary contributions, we recognize his social commentary; one that is just as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. Tupac will be remembered as one of the greatest of all time by his family and fans; touching countless lives of people all over the world, spanning several decades. I am honored to bring forward this resolution along with LeRoy McCarthy and Heterodoxx Inc. and look forward to a continued partnership with the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to ensure the Shakur legacy lives on and that we build a world where roses no longer have to grow through concrete because we’ve broken down those obstacles and softened the ground for all beauty to bloom with ease.”
In a statement, The Tupac Shakur Foundation says:
“We want to thank The City of Oakland, Councilmember Carroll Fife and LeRoy McCarthy of Heterodoxx Inc. for all the hard work in bringing the Tupac Shakur Way street naming to life. We hope that this street sign resides at the intersection of Love, Courage, Compassion, Honor and Community. These are important virtues for me, my family and The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation. We look forward to peace, healing and building new legacies, here on Tupac Shakur”
Notably, the Tupac Shakur Foundation has generously volunteered to cover the costs associated with this commemorative act. The foundation, established to carry on the artist’s philanthropic endeavors, will bear the financial responsibility for renaming and installing the commemorative signage.
Residents, admirers, and fans of Tupac Shakur can eagerly anticipate an event scheduled for September 2023. The ceremony will include the unveiling and placement of the new signage along MacArthur Boulevard. As the date approaches, the community is encouraged to stay tuned for additional information, ensuring they don’t miss this historic moment.
The decision to rename MacArthur Boulevard to “Tupac Shakur Way” not only pays homage to a beloved local icon but also serves as a testament to the enduring impact of his artistry, activism, and cultural contributions. By honoring Shakur’s memory profoundly, the city of Oakland reinforces its commitment to preserving and celebrating its rich history and diverse heritage.