Long Live Dr. Mutulu Shakur

By admin December 4, 2023

words by Hiram Rivera

an article from WARTIME: SPECIAL EDITION (FALL 2023)

Born August 8, 1950 

Transitioned July 6, 2023

Dr. Mutulu Shakur embodied a lifelong commitment to the struggle and Black Liberation.

A veteran of the Republic of New Afrika and the Black Liberation Army, his contributions to the liberation of our people are immeasurable. Dr. Shakur’s revolutionary life reached its height during the eras of the sixties and the seventies: a time of war between oppressed and oppressors. A time of anti-colonial struggles throughout  Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean on one end and the counter-insurgency attacks of the United States government on the other. Dr. Shakur was born, raised, and did his work within this context. A period of calculated assaults on our people that saw the assassinations of our leaders, the murders of activists, and a continuation of the degradation and violence on Black families that we have experienced since the time of the Maafa, “the great tragedy” of the Atlantic slave trade.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Queens, New York, “Doc,” as he was affectionately referred to, was a conscious member of the New Afrikan Independence Movement and the Black Liberation struggle since the age of 15. First organizing locally around community control of schools in Brooklyn, and later nationally as a founding member of the provisional government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA), he was a committed organizer and defender of our people who understood there would be no salvation for our people under the capitalist, white supremacist system of the united states government. 

Defending our people took many forms for Doc, from throwing his body on top of others during the infamous attack on a gathering of Black nationalists at the New Bethel Church by the Detroit Police in 1969 to working to save and transform the lives of those struggling with addiction in New York City almost a decade later through the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America. As a healer, he took on drug detoxification through acupuncture, where his work was revered across the globe. His innovative techniques counseled individuals through withdrawal symptoms, focusing heavily on elderly and poor patients in our community. 

On February 12, 1986, he was arrested and later charged for a string of events, the most notable being the liberation of Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur from prison. He was also the stepfather to Tupac “2PAC” Amaru Shakur and had a tremendous impact on his upbringing. He spent 36 years behind bars as a political prisoner. Through the tireless work of so many, including The New Afrikan People’s Organization (NAPO), the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), the “Shakur Squad,” comrades, activists, and most importantly, his family, Dr. Shakur was released on December 16, 2022. 

Shortly after his release, Dr. Shakur joined us for a special Mass Call. We are eternally grateful to have had the extraordinary opportunity to speak with Dr. Shakur in his final months. His wisdom has been and will continue to be a guiding example for our organization. Dr. Shakur was a soldier of the people, has lived a life of revolutionary discipline and revolutionary struggle. A life of sacrifice and service to the New Afrikan nation and all oppressed people around the world. We thank you, Dr. Shakur, and will continue to fight, Straight Ahead and with Stiff Resistance until all political prisoners are free. Because “no struggle in the history of the world has ever been successful leaving their people behind.”


Watch our Mass Call, “The General Is Home,” featuring Dr. Mutulu Shakur:

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