Dr Mutulu Shakur, Stepfather of the late great Tupac Shakur, is one of the most well known members of the Black Panther Party which came into existence in 1966 following the assassination of Malcolm X as a response to police brutality in the African American community.
History Of The Black Panther Party
In addition to confronting Police Brutality in local communities like Oakland, the Black Panther Party ran social programs in minority communities, like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.
These Black Panther Party programs included a very successful Free Breakfast Program for children at Schools.
Black Panther Party Founding members Bobby Seale and Huey Newton were influenced by Marxism and crystallised their goals in what they called a Ten Point Program which called for an immediate end to Police Brutality, better employment, housing and Social Welfare for minorities.
As part of the Black Power Movement, the Black Panther Party also encouraged Black self-love and unity.
Nevertheless, Black Panther Party leaders like Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver were all involved in violent confrontations and shootouts with the Police.
The Black Panther Party’s activities meant Black self-determination and this made the Black Panther Party a target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO Program.
In 1969 the FBI regarded the Black Panther Party as a Communist Organisation and enemy of the United States Government, intensifying efforts to undermine and disrupt the Black Panther Party’s Social activities like the successful Free Breakfast Program.
Government pressure intensified leading to the infamous murder Black Panther Party members like Fred Hampton in his sleep.
In addition, persecution and trials continued like the infamous ‘Pather 21’ Trial in which Tupac’s mother was a Defendant.
The effect of all the COINTELPRO harassment was to exert such intense pressure on the Black Panther Party that it was officially dissolved in 1982.
Although a New Black Panther Party was formed in 1989, it has not had the same impact as the 1960s Black Panther Movement which was ultimately a casualty of the US Government’s Counterintelligence program.
Dr Mutulu Shakur & The Black Panther Party
Whilst Dr. Mutulu Shakur is also well known as Tupac Shakur’s Stepfather, he is an important Alternative Medicine Practitioner and Revolutionary in his own right.
During his time as a member of the Black Panther Party, Dr Mutulu Shakur was a Doctor of Acupuncture focused on treating the symptoms associated with drug withdrawal addiction in the Black community.
As a Revolutionary Member of the Black Panther Party, Dr. Mutulu Shakur was eventually licensed and certified to perform acupuncture in the State of California in 1976 where he rose to the position of the Program’s Assistant Director.
By the late 1970’s Dr. Mutulu Shakur’s work in the field of acupuncture was recognised internationally, and he gave lectures on the subject which also saw him invited to the People’s Republic of China.
Dr Mutulu Shakur’s childhood experiences probably shaped his Revolutionary attitude and decision to join the Black Panther Party.
His mother was Blind and he experienced extreme hardship in obtaining access to basic Social Welfare and benefits, particularly for a Black family in America during the 1960s.
At 16, Dr. Shakur joined the brand new Afrikan Independence Movement which made him a target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO used to neutralize what were regarded as subservise organisations.
Dr Mutulu Shakur is a Pan-Africanist Revolutionary who saw the struggle for Black Liberation as an International Struggle against global Imperialism.
As such, the struggle for Black Liberation in America was the same as the Anti-Colonial Struggles for Liberation against European Imperialism in Africa.
In 1988, Dr Mutulu Shakur was convicted for the Robbery of an Armoured Truck in which $1.6 Million was stolen and 2 Policemen were killed in the course of the robbery.
Dr Mutulu Shakur remains in Prison as several applications for his release on Parole have been declined.
Nevertheless, Dr Mutulu Shakur’s influence and words of wisdom continue to be felt in the Music of the late great Tupac Shakur.
In Black Panther Party: Vanguard Of The Revolution, we get an intimate portrayal of the role of the Black Panther Party in the struggle for Black and Minority Self-Determination in the United States.
Video Interviews of Dr Mutulu Shakur in Prison both shortly after his arrest and following his conviction are also included.
Lastly, is the FBI Files video documentary on the Brinks Robbery for which he was convicted and imprisoned.