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Shakur

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Dr. Mutulu Shakur, 72, is a soldier and he, too, deserves honor on this and every other Veteran’s Day, particularly since Shakur has fought one of the better fights in Black history, against imperialist, white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy alongside Black women, for the Black community, for much of his life.

As a renowned acupuncturist Mutulu was concerned about drug addiction that impacted the Bronx community where he practiced. His early professional work was specifically built around detoxification, and treating the elderly, underserved and poverty stricken. Dr. Shakur would later become one of the most notable revolutionaries to confront the U.S. government on structural violence against Black citizens and the obstruction to constitutional rights—i.e. the tenants and whole of the fifth amendment: 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Dr. Shakur’s work with the Revolutionary Action Movement; Black Liberation Army; Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika; New Afrikan Independence Movement; National Committee to Free Political Prisoners; National Liberation Movement, and his fight on multiple social justice battlefields is proof of his unwavering political activism, leadership and sacrifices. 

While there are folks who may refute the claim and disparage his veteran soldier status, the Blackest, feminist parts of me remain resolute. I’m also certain the women who are associated with Dr. Shakur would agree—Assata Shakur being the most notable.

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As history would have it, Mutulu and Assata Shakur’s family and political ties are eternal. Through Black Panther Party members Lumumba and Zayd Shakur, Mutulu was in community with Assata due to their plight against oppression, inequity and the disenfranchisement of Black people. Dr. Shakur supported Assata legally and emotionally throughout her political incarceration. Mutulu was accused by a former comrade—turned federal informant—of liberating Assata from a New Jersey prison and facilitating her political asylum in Cuba. Allegedly, an armed robbery on a Brinks truck that left three people dead, two of which were law enforcement, funded Assata’s freedom. 

 

Shakur

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Dr. Shakur wed Afeni Shakur in 1975. He fathered a daughter with Afeni and helped raise Tupac Shakur. Mutulu continued their father-son bond from behind prison walls, and well into the late rapper’s adulthood. He also collaborated with Pac on “Code of THUG LIFE,” a nonviolent initiative and self governing guide for gang members, specifically Bloods and Crips. After the death of his beloved stepson, Dr. Shakur has been instrumental in keeping his legacy alive.

 

Shakur

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Dr. Mutulu Shakur has been bidding for half his life. A conviction on trumped up RICO charges resulted in a 60-year prison sentence. After serving 36 years in federal confinement, he will finally part ways with the carceral system and parole board that denied his freedom a total of 10 times. Though, it’s not the liberation many hoped for, Dr. Shakur is being conditionally-released based on his declining health. He is stricken with terminal bone marrow cancer on top of coping with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, the side effects of stroke and three decades of captivity.

 

Shakur
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Dr. Mutulu Shakur is still on the battlefield, Y’all; albeit, fighting illnesses and circumstances that impact Black folks and Black freedom exponentially. He spent much of his life fighting for the liberation and lives of others—and continues to fight for his.

Dr. Mutulu Shakur is a prisoner of war and a soldier—indeed.


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