Political Prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur, 69, Diagnosed With Bone Marrow Cancer

Political Prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur, 69, Diagnosed With Bone Marrow Cancer

Political activist Dr. Mutulu Shakur was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in October 2019. credit: Mutulu Shakur

Political activist Dr. Mutulu Shakur was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in October 2019. Until now, Shakur, who is the stepfather of the late Hip-Hop icon Tupac Shakur, had requested his diagnosis be kept private until now. Shakur, who is has been in prison for 33 years, was denied compassionate release in December by the central office of the Bureau of Prisons. He is currently receiving chemotherapy.

“Dr. Shakur who is now 69 years old, had been experiencing pain in his bones, but it took a year for him to even receive an x-ray. Mutulu is also suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, vision problems from glaucoma, and suffered a stroke in 2014,” 04L Online reported.

There is a petition organized by Shakur supporters that urging his release due to his current medical condition. 

Shakur took part in the 1981 robbery of an armored car with five other Black Liberation Army (BLA)members. They stole $1.6 million in cash from a Brink’s armored car in Nanuet, New York. A Brink’s guard was killed and another was seriously wounded, two Nyack police officers were killed, including Waverly Brown (the first Black member of the Nyack, New York, police department).

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It took authorities six years to capture Shakur, who was the alleged ringleader of the group. In the 1980s, Shakur and BLA supporter Marilyn Buck, who was white, were indicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges. While Shakur was on the run he had been added by the FBI to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He was ultimately arrested on February 12, 1986, in California by the FBI. Shakur and Buck were tried in 1987 and both were convicted on May 11, 1988. 

Prior to his arrest, Shakur worked in the area of health as a doctor of acupuncture and was a co-founder and director of two institutions that focused on improving health care in the Black community.

Shakur got involved as a young man in political and community activism. By the age of 16, had joined the New Afrikan Independence Movement. And during this time he was a target of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program known as COINTELPRO.

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“During the late ‘60s, Dr. Shakur was politically active and worked with the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), a Black Nationalist group which struggled for Black self-determination and socialist change in America. He was a member of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, which endorsed the founding of an independent New Afrikan (Black) Republic and the establishment of an independent Black state in the southern U.S. Dr. Shakur also worked very closely with the Black Panther Party, supporting Lumumba and Zayd Shakur,” The South Bay View reported.

Shakur began working with the Lincoln Detox Community Program as a political education instructor in 1970. He counseled and treated patients with withdrawal symptoms with acupuncture. He became certified and licensed to practice acupuncture in the state of California in 1976 and rose to become the program’s assistant director and stayed with the organization until 1978.

From 1978 to 1982, Dr. Shakur was the co-founder and co-director of the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture.                    

In 1975, she married Mutulu Shakur and had their daughter, Sekyiwa. They got divorced in 1982. Mutulu became stepfather to the lat hip-hop icon 2 Pac.