Dr. Kokayi comes to his training in an exceptional way. He was one of the cadre who was a victim of chemical genocide tactics when introduced to the healing art of acupuncture. He also made his mark in a therapeutic community, which looked at the politics of their addiction as a key element of the treatment program.
Although he struggled in Washington, DC – quite a distance fro the core base in the Bronx where the initial work in this field was being done – he maintained clarity and his determination enabled him to develop his art and skills as a healer.
We first heard of Kokayi through the great neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Matthew, who in the early 1970’s ran a program called N.E.G.R.O., which operated from location in New York and Washington, DC. The program was designed to confront the drug plague and a basic principle was self-reliance. Dr. Matthew told us about a drug program in DC called RAP, Inc., which ran its therapeutic sessions on the same principles as Lincoln Detox, that is, political education sessions. RAP intensely opposed all forms of methadone. We were told that the program was run by Brother Ron Clarke, and that a dynamic young Brother by the name of Kokayi ran the political education sessions.
Back then, a major target of the struggle was the National Drug Abuse Council. This was the federal agency that made policy concerning the so-called war on drugs. What they tried to do was shape the thinking in the field to support methadone maintenance and the Rockefeller Program. Alternative treatment modalities were being increasingly ignored. Their policy was to fund only methadone programs, and to diminish funding to drug-free alternatives. Dr. Kokayi Patterson and his comrades Brothers Yango Sawyer and Ron Clarke supported our struggles to expose and criticize this agency. Bro. Kokayi, a transformed drug victim, gave a dynamic presentation at the National Drug Abuse Council convention articulating the benefits of alternative treatments.
Dr. Kokayi Patterson has always been n the struggle for his people’s right to self-determination. His self-acclamation as a New Afrikan was a powerful personal transformation. His love for his comrades and his sacrifices cannot be fully presented in this venue but there is no question that he is a freedom fighter.
His tour of duty includes RAP, Inc., Blacks Against Abuse of Drugs, Lincoln Detox, Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America, and the Republic of New Afrika. Yet, he continues to provide the healing art to the masses and continues the legacy of his fallen comrades in both the healing struggle and the liberation movement.
For this, I am grateful, my Brother. You honor our ancestors with your ability to survive and be productive. Dr. Kokayi Patterson, by little Brother, I am truly proud of you and congratulate you on being a recipient of this award.
Stay true to your essence. May we heal more than they destroy. Much love and respect.
Dr. Mutulu Shakur