WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
WHERE: your home (or wherever you happen to be)
With the COVID related restrictions and guidelines around this country beginning to be lifted or eased, it is as important as ever to recognize those inside prison walls who remain captive by the white supremacist structures that have continued to thrive throughout this pandemic. Between the proliferation of this deadly virus behind bars, the inequity in treatment of the disease to people of color, the unending stream of police killing Black folks, and the attempts to literally erase the already vastly understated mentions of America’s ongoing racist colonial history from school books, this country is having a historic year of maintaining white supremacy. Just this month it was revealed that the remains of the victims of the Philadelphia police bombing of the MOVE family’s house were either sent to be “studied” and gawked at by elite museums and universities or ordered by city officials to be burnt to ash. This latest obscene iteration of this country’s mission to control Black bodies with cruelty and indignity is just one of an immeasurable number. With these injustices fresh in our minds, we turn to political prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur, who has actively fought against that bodily control by dedicating his life to the physical, political, and social health and well being of the Black community.
From Dr. Shakur’s support site https://mutulushakur.com/ :
“Dr. Mutulu Shakur is a New Afrikan (Black) man whose primary work has been in the area of health. He is a doctor of acupuncture and was a co-founder and director of two institutions devoted to improving health care in the Black community.
Mutulu was born on August 8, 1950, in Baltimore, Maryland as Jeral Wayne Williams. At age seven he moved to Jamaica, Queens, New York City with his mother and younger sister. His political and social consciousness began to develop early in his life. His mother suffered not only from being Black and female, but was also blind. These elements constituted Shakur’s first confrontation with the state, while assisting his mother to negotiate through the maze that made up the social service system. Through this experience, Shakur learned that the system did not operate in the interests of Black people and that Black people must control the institutions that affect their lives.
Since the age 16, Dr. Shakur has been a part of the New Afrikan Independence Movement. As a part of this movement, Dr. Shakur has been a target of the illegal Counterintelligence Program carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (COINTELPRO). This was a secret police strategy used in the U.S. starting in the 1960s to destroy and neutralize progressive and revolutionary organizations. It is believed that Dr. Shakur’s resistance to this program led to his arrest and trial.
During the late sixties, Dr. Shakur was politically active and worked with the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), a Black Nationalist group that struggled for Black self-determination and socialist change in America. He was a member of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, which endorsed the founding of an independent New Afrikan (Black) Republic and the establishment of an independent Black state in the southern U.S. Dr. Shakur also worked very closely with the Black Panther Party, supporting Lumumba and Zayd Shakur.
In 1970, Dr. Shakur was employed by the Lincoln Detox (detoxification) Community (addiction treatment) Program as a political education instructor. His role evolved to include counseling and treatment of withdrawal symptoms with acupuncture. Dr. Shakur became certified and licensed to practice acupuncture in the State of California in 1976. Eventually he became the Program’s Assistant Director and remained associated with the program until 1978.
From 1978 to 1982, Dr. Shakur was the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America (BAAANA) and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture. Where, at Lincoln, Dr. Shakur had managed a detox program recognized as the largest and most effective of its kind by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Acupuncture Research Society and the World Academic Society of Acupuncture, at BAAANA he continued his remarkable work and also treated thousands of poor and elderly patients who would otherwise have no access to treatment of this type. Many community leaders, political activists, lawyers and doctors were served by BAAANA and over one hundred medical students were trained in the discipline of acupuncture.
By the late 1970’s Dr. Shakur’s work in acupuncture and drug detoxification was both nationally and internationally known and he was invited to address members of the medical community around the world. Dr. Shakur lectured on his work at many medical conferences, and was invited to the People’s Republic of China. In addition in his work for the Charles Cobb Commission for Racial Justice for the National Council of Churches, he developed their anti-drug program.
Dr. Shakur has five biological children and several grandchildren who he maintains loving relationships with despite his incarceration. He was an inspiration for many of the positive messages in his late adoptive son, Tupac’s, musical work.”
In 1987 Dr. Shakur was sentenced to 60 years in prison after being targeted by US federal authorities with charges under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act and for aiding in Assata Shakur’s escape from prison.
Dr. Mutulu Shakur #83205-012
P.O. Box 14500
Lexington, KY 40512
Though Dr. Shakur appreciates the mail that folks send him, he is unable to respond to every letter personally. Other ways to support Dr. Shakur can be found at https://mutulushakur.com/support/