“I’m not trying to discourage you,” Damfo said. “But I must let you know the things a healer turns his back on are innumerable. These are things of the world. Not only things of the flesh, but also things touching the spirit. There’s comfort and wealth. There’s also love, the respect of close ones. Even fame, the respect of distant people. Power among men. The satisfaction of being known wherever you go. These are the things that sweeten life for men. The healer turns his back on all of them.”
“Do you think I have not understood that?” Densu asked.
“It’s hard to go away from the things everyone is going toward. It’s lonely. It’s hard to live the way a healer must necessarily live. It’s hard to live without respect in the world.”
“Does a healer have no respect?” Densu asked.
“Not in the world as it is now. But he does have respect. Only from those who know the value of his work. Those are always few.” – The Healer by Armah
I’ve been asked to share just a few words and thoughts on my teacher, ELDER and Jenga Dr. Mutulu Shakur. Jenoch as defined by Elder Sage, Dr. Wade Nobles:
“Those special people who have (1) been tested in struggles or battle, (2) demonstrated extraordinary and unusual fearlessness, (3) shown determination and courage in protecting her/his people, land, and culture, (4) shown diligence and dedication to our people, (5) produced an exceptionally high quality of work and (6) dedicated themselves to the protection, defense, nurturance and development of our young by advancing our people, place and culture.”
Dr. Mutulu Shakur has spent his entire life earning the above title and honor. He is deserving of all the love, respect, honor and attention we can draw and mobilize to assist him in his immediate release back to the communities all over this country who love him, miss him, and longing to embrace him as family.
After blowing trial in which I represented myself beating 26 of 29 counts and still receiving 2 life sentences and 20 years, my story was the thing of street legends brought to life in the pages of DD Issue no.7. I was moved out to the main compound at USP-Atlanta embraced by other five star legends. Upon arrival, I immediately dove headfirst on a new path and direction of Re-Afrikanization.
Shortly afterwards, the legendary Dr. Mutulu Shakur arrived on the yard. He was running the track which he used to do sometimes for hours and I just ran out there and started to speaking to him about what needs to be done in the struggle, how we need to do this and that in the community, and he just looked at me like I was a nut case. As you can imagine, my little ego was crushed!! Later that day “AKBAR PRAY” told me to come out and he would formally introduce me to Doc as we call him. I did not show up. Somehow he found out about my earlier attempts and laughed at me and told me to come out and stop tripping. I came out a few days later, met him and spent the next four or five years with a master teacher everyday. I will remain eternally grateful to the ancestors for using him as a vessel to awaken me on my path.
It has been said you can tell the quality of the teacher by the fruit of his labor, his students. As a student of Dr. Mutulu Shakur, I have continued to teach Black History classes, provide cultural programs such as Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King birthday celebrations, Black History month programs and Juneteenth programs where my travels have carried me. Also teaching other classes such as 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Political Science classes, Conflict Resolution classes, Afrikan Psychology classes and many more. For the last 10 years of the 23 years I have served doing the people’s work, I have added Afrikan Sacred Science classes (the study of Afrikan Spiritual Systems) under the banner of Yoruba Religious Service. I’m also part of group of men with life sentences who have started a groundbreaking M4L (Mentors for Life) Program where we counsel the young men on staying out of prison with a curriculum designed by us the lifers that lasts for 12 weeks. If I am the only student, imagine the asset this Elder would be to our communities that are so deeply in need of guidance.
In the context of Kaepernick’s ‘protest,’ Beyonce’s ‘formation,’ T.I.’s ‘we will not,’ Common’s ‘Selma, Zendaya,’ Jesse Williams’ drop the mic commentary at the awards show, Black Girls Rock, Black Lives Matter, the Birth of a Nation movie, Killa Mike and the Four Part Hidden Colors Series, are we witnessing the revival of Black consciousness, pride and resistance? And now the election of Trump as of November 9, the question was posed to me. Bringing Dr. Mutulu Shakur home means he could address all the youth with wise counsel. He would tell them all forms of positive struggle for the oppressed people of the earth is good. He would explain to them the pitfalls ahead especially when their objectives are not clear and to give some thought to that. He would tell them that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party and we continue to operate in a reactionary mold. Fighting for the same exact things they were fighting for, and unless we develop institutions and infrastructure that we sustain financially then we are bound to repeat mistakes and stagnate our development because we lack a vehicle to transmit our collective wisdom. He always placed things within a much bigger picture causing you to reflect sometimes for days, sometimes for months, and in some cases for years.
What do we do now? I propose we make January 16 “Bring Mutulu Shakur Home Day” and collectively make him the number 1 trending topic on Twitter while continuing to demand for his release. That means all the Black Conscious community and the rapper/entertainment community join together to issue a statement we will release, along with 7 to 10 talking points approved by Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) and Angela Davis so that everybody stays on message. The time is now for action. Let us bring our Elder Mutulu Shakur (Doc) a father, grandfather, Jenoch, Sage, Activist, Master Teacher, Master Warrior, Humanitarian, Healer and Beacon of Light Home!!
ALWAYS AFRIKAN LOVE & FAMILY