Category Archives: Interviews

The Use of Acupuncture by Revolutionaries: An Interview with Brother Tyehimba

On the History of the Use of Acupuncture by Revolutionary Health Workers to Treat Drug Addiction, and US Government Attacks Under the Cover of the Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO): A Telephone Interview from Lompoc Federal Prison with Tyehimba Jess of WHBK Radio in Chicago (October 1992)

Announcer: But, it seems like things have straightened themselves out right about now. We are on. . .we have on the line with us a Brother, Mutulu Shakur, from the. . .who is currently being held in Lompoc Prison.

Let me tell you something about Brother Mutulu Shakur. Brother Mutulu Shakur is a doctor of acupuncture. As an acupuncturist and healthcare worker, Brother Shakur worked from 1971 to ’78 for the Lincoln Hospital Detoxification Program in the Bronx in New York. Then, from 1978 to 1982 Dr. Shakur was the co-founder and co-director of the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America, also known as BAAANA and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture.

At the Lincoln Detox Center, Dr. Shakur lead a program which used acupuncture to assist in the detoxification of thousands of drug addicts. The Lincoln Detox program was recognized as the largest and most effective of its kind by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Acupuncture Research Society and the World Academic Society of Acupuncture.

Further, at BAAANA, Dr. Shakur continued his remarkable work against drug addiction. He also treated and/or supervised the treatment of thousands of elderly and poor patients who otherwise would have received no treatment of this kind. Patients were able to receive quality healthcare at reasonable prices. Moreover, the clinic at BAAANA served on a regular basis many community leaders, political activists, lawyers, doctors and various international dignitaries. At BAAANA, Dr. Shakur and his co-founder, Dr. Richard Delaney, trained over 100 students in the medical sciences of acupuncture. Some of the trainees at the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture were already medical doctors licensed by various states in the United States.

Also in the late 1970s, just to tell you a little bit about this brother’s proficiency in his field, Dr. Shakur traveled with Dr. Mario Wexu, Director of Education at the International Association of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in Montreal to the People’s Republic of China, where he observed and studied acupuncture applied as the primary form of medical care. We are not just talking about someone who, you know, dibbles and dabbles in his field, but he does some serious research, know what I’m saying.

Brother Shakur also worked with the Revolutionary Action Movement, RAM, in his early years. This was a revolutionary Black Nationalist organization which struggled for black self-determination and socialist change in America. Brother Dr. Shakur has furthermore been a dedicated worker and champion in the struggle against political imprisonment and political convictions of black activists in America.

He has also been a leader in the struggle against illegal United States and local American law enforcement programs designed to destroy the black movement in America and has worked to expose and stop the secret American war against its black colony. Brother Shakur served on the committee to defend Herman Ferguson, a leading black political activist and educator charged with conspiracy in the RAM conspiracy case of the 1960s. Dr. Shakur was a member of the National Committee to Free Political Prisoners. He has worked to legally defend and support political prisoners and prisoners of war like Imari Obadele, Ph.D. and the RNA-11, Reverend Ben Chavis and the Wilmington 10, Geronimo Pratt of the Black Panther Party, Assata Shakur of the Black Liberation Army, Sundiata Acoli also of the Black Liberation Army.

He contributed to the development of a petition to the United Nations by the National Conference of Black Lawyers and others. As a matter of fact, that petition is now documented in the book “Illusions of Justice” by Lennox Hinds. He used to also work with the National Conference of Black Lawyers on developing defense committees for numerous political prisoners and prisoners of war.

In addition, and I’m running out of breath with this Brother’s accomplishments, Brother Shakur was most importantly a co-founder and director of the National Task Force for COINTELPRO Litigation and Research which investigated, exposed and instigated suits against the FBI and other American law agencies for criminal acts, domestic spying, dirty tricks, repression, and low intensity warfare maneuvers against the New African independence struggle and others struggling against oppression in America.

Now, having given you this amazing biography, one thing I do have to say before I begin this program is that everything you hear on this show is not necessarily, you may be surprised to know, not necessarily the opinion of the University of Chicago or the University of Chicago’s Board of Trustees. But having said that I would like to bring on the air Brother Shakur. Brother Shakur are you with us?

MS: Hello.

Announcer: Hello Brother Shakur.

MS: How you doing? Free the land, Brother.

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