Dr. Mutulu Shakur, the stepfather of Tupac Shakur, father to Sekyiwa Shakur and former husband of Black Panther Party activist Afeni Shakur, has died. The passing of Shakur, also a Black Liberation Movement elder, comes nearly seven months after he was released from prison. The 72-year-old served 38 years after being convicted for his alleged involvement in a 1981 bank robbery and murder in Nyack, New York.
Following his release in December, Shakur lived with family members in Southern California. Legal name Jeral Wayne Williams, Shakur was born on August 8th, 1950 in Baltimore. As a child, his family relocated to Jamaica, Queens, where as a teenager, became active with Black nationalist organization Revolutionary Action Movement, and later joined the Republic of New Afrika.
In the 1970s, Shakur was assistant director of the Lincoln Detox clinic, using acupuncture healing for heroin addicted patients. In 1975, he married Afeni Shakur, who was mother to a young Tupac with former partner and fellow Black Panther Billy Garland. Certified to practice acupuncture in 1979, Shakur founded and directed the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America (BAAANA) and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture. Shakur and Afeni divorced in 1982, six years before Shakur was tried and convicted in May 1988.
Despite Shakur’s divorce from Afeni, he and Tupac remained in contact, tackled extensively in FX’s Dear Mama docuseries. After repeatedly being denied parole in the last decade, Shakur was granted release in December due to his declining health.
Read tributes to Shakur below.
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