Shout out to Sophia Dawson for featuring Mutulu in the letter “E” of the BLM mural in Foley Square.
James Shelton and Kate Kampmann from the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) have created a series of images honoring 7 people whose life’s work contributed greatly to what we now term Liberation Acupuncture. These are the Ancestors of Liberation Acupuncture.
Gustavo Gutierrez was born in Lima, Peru in 1928. He is an originator and leading proponent of Liberation Theology. The phrase, “a preferential option for the poor” is attributed to him. If a practice doesn’t work for the poorest people, then it doesn’t work. This ethos is foundational to Liberation Acupuncture.
Ignacio Martín-Baró was born in Spain in 1942. He worked largely in El Salvador. A proponent of Liberation Psychology, Baró was adamant that a practice had to be useful and valuable to the popular majority. One could not import a European styled psychology for a Central American peasantry with their differing experiences of imperialism and poverty. Similarly, Liberation Acupuncture must adapt the delivery of healthcare to the
needs of the underserved American people. Baró was assassinated by the US-trained El Salvadorian Army in 1989.
Master Tung Ching Chang was born in Shandong Province, China. c. 1916. He moved to Taiwan during the Chinese revolution. His family lineage of acupuncture used a very different system than what became known as Traditional Chinese Medicine. He would have been prosecuted if he had not conformed. Tung’s acupuncture makes great use of distal points, allowing him to treat 100 people in a day and making it ideal for community acupuncture. Master Tung also stepped out of his family tradition by training many outside practitioners, including Miriam Lee.
Mutulu Shakur was born in Baltimore, in 1950. Shakur became the assistant director of the Lincoln Detox, a community organized drug detoxification clinic in an occupied building at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx, which was founded in 1970 by the Black Panther Party, the Republic of New Afrika, and the Young Lords. After its closing Shakur went on to found the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America (BAAANA) as well as the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture. He sought to utilize affordable acupuncture for oppressed, underserved communities. A member of the Black Liberation Army, Shakur has been incarcerated since 1986. There is an ongoing campaign for freedom.
This is the freshly finished portrait of Dr. Mutulu Shakur by Demont “Peekaso” Pinder. Check out his Instagram to view more!
Sophia Dawson, of I Am Wet Paint, is a Brooklyn based visual artist who has dedicated her life’s work to exposing the stories and experiences of individuals who are striving to overcome the injustices they face. She featured these paintings of Dr. Mutulu Shakur in her “To Be Free” series, a portraits project with current US held political prisoners from the Black Liberation Movement.
Yah need to know about it- Mutulu SHAKUR illustrated by BORISH, designed by JOY Liu, and written by ROBERT Trujillo
About this image: “Yah need to know about it” is about introducing you-the artists, the readers, the parents, the youth, the activists, the beautiful people you are to these folks so u can check em out if they interest you.
Come Bien Books is a collaboration btwn illustrators and writers with a focus on people of color.