During the summer of 2011, I was reunited with my Abu & life long mentor, Dr. Mutulu Shakur. I had been serving 2 life sentences plus 30 years for conspiracy to possess crack cocaine, none of which were introduced in court nor found upon my person…nevertheless, I was given this time because of my ignorance of the drug laws, my inability to see into my educational, cultural and social background. Many people cannot remember or actually point to a particular individual or group of individuals that has helped them transition out of his or her negative past of immature decisions/choices. However, this is not my experience. Because for me it was Dr. Shakur who at the alpha of our much need reunion knew that he had to began educating me as to my ignorance, or I would become even more destructive than I was during such time as a teen high school drop-out, drug dealer, and so much more.
Before my union with him, I really thought that due to my having a prison G.E.D. and over 100 certificates that I was educated. It really was a shock to discover that I was no better off than a dog who had been professionally trained by his master or the master of someone else… Meaning, a dog could perhaps do a few tricks that his master trained him to do. Nevertheless, this dog training only goes so far, much like my so-called education. It has and possibly still would have only taken me so far, had it not been for my mentor.
Lets look at the terms educate and education. What does it really mean…., do you really have it as you say you do and if not why?
It took some time for me to surrender to my mentor’s genuine approach as to how to educate me without offending me and pushing me further and further away. I did not know then, but I know now that public and private schools provided students with an extremely huge collective of educational training, however, this educational training is the birth of teen drug use, alcoholism, pregnancy, and high school drop out. To sum it all up it means youth and adult failure, which proves to be nothing close to the educational experience necessary for my human survival.
The education I needed was the one I was given by my mentor (Dr. M. Shakur) I did not know, nor could I see, education to be a tool I should use to measure myself in knowledge and wisdom; that I may be able to better determine my growth and development. This wonderful man is the very “first” man to make me see, and truly accept, that M.A.N. Himself is a spiritual, moral and philosophical constitution.
What has Dr. Mutulu Shakur taught you Brotha Ra’ Sekou P’tah?
You ask what has he taught me? Well I will tell you….
*He taught me that being responsible does not mean showing up to work, school or to a scheduled appointment. Responsibility is a process of transformation we adopt and apply to ourselves as a means of finding balance, self discipline, positive growth as we continue to move forward seeking ways towards building healthy relationship with others within your home, community, and society in our role as human beings.
*He taught me that in order to acquire knowledge from any physical external educational institution of thought, that I must first come to terms with acknowledging that I too am “chief engineer” of my very own institution…which must be worked constructively upon atom by atom, until the M.A.N. within has discovered its own measure of wisdom…that he/she overstands the importance of their roles towards the external institutions (schools of thought/universities), which is there to help cultivate each and every individual inside the schools…beginning at home, preschool, elementary, spiritual temples, communities, etc., etc.
*He taught me how to be innovative and to create positive statistics and to outlive and move beyond the past negative influences.
*He taught me the many different styles of writing, communication, how to identify with my own as well as others masculinity. How to be merciful, even to those of whom have been unmerciful. He taught me to be forgiving, compassionate, and how to be overstanding of others.
In closing: often times the question comes to me by many, ‘who is Dr. Shakur to you, Ra’? I always answer the same…’he’s the first and only man….he is always present, he is beyond the future and so much more than his past…To you he’s Doc…Mutulu or Dr. Mutulu Shakur…but to me he’s the very first and only M.A.N. to ever reach me and teach me what I really needed to survive as a young Afrikan man living in America. He’s my Abu now and forever!”