Letter from Dr. Tolbert Small to the family of Dr. Mutulu Shakur 

Dr._Tolbert_Small_and_Dr._Mutulu_Shakur_meeting-1400x1050, Letter from Dr. Tolbert Small to the family of Dr. Mutulu Shakur , Abolition Now! Local News & Views
On Dec. 22, 2022, Dr. Tolbert Small and Dr. Mutulu Shakur met after 50 years from when they first connected. Both have been practicing acupuncture since the early 1970s on different coasts. The meeting was facilitated by Eana Meng and the family of Mutulu Shakur.

by Dr. Tolbert Small

Dear Mopreme and Talia,

I am deeply saddened by the death of your beloved father. Although his death was expected, it’s still very painful for all those who loved him. I treasure the times that I spent with him. He was a long distance fighter for all people and he was our Robin Hood. He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. As a member of the Republic of New Africa, he gave to the poor children in  Mississippi and the poor people in Harlem. I am happy that he was able to spend his final days with his family and with the people who loved him.

He told me that in 1972, through trial and error, he developed the five point ear protocol, for treating heroin addiction. Mutulu told me that they treated 300 addicts per day. Three out of every five people in the South Bronx have had some experience with heroin. The Black Panthers and the Young Lords were unhappy with the government’s methadone programs. This government has put the Black heroin addicts into prison while currently placing the white oxycontin addicts into treatment programs.  

This is nothing new: Judy Garland went into a treatment program while Billie Holiday went to prison. Mutulu’s protocol is used by thousands of clinics throughout the world. Dr. Mutulu and his students were the first African-Americans to get acupuncture licenses in California. 



Dr. Mutulu opened up the first acupuncture treatment center in Harlem. Dr. Mutulu taught this program to many students, including Dr. Michael Smith. In 1985, Dr. Smith published a paper based on Dr. Mutulu’s work; and the Western World erroneously thinks that Dr. Smith developed this protocol. As with Latimer, who developed the filament for Edison’s light, without this filament, Edison’s light would only burn for a few minutes. As with Henson, the first person to get to the North Pole, as with the Indiana minstrel brothers, who wrote the tune Dixie, our people never get credit for their work.

Mutulu had mandatory parole after 30 years; the power structure refused to parole him. As with Marilyn Buck and Herman Wallace, the power structure denies parole to freedom fighters until they are knocking on death’s door.

Although Mutulu has joined our ancestors, he has planted the seed of resistance which will blossom throughout the oppressed world. Whenever the oppressed pick up arms, Mutulu lives. Whenever our children and grandchildren resist tyranny, racism and oppression, Mutulu lives!

Stiff Resistance!

Stiff Resistance!

Stiff Resistance!

Presente Mutulu!

Known as “the people’s doctor,” Dr. Tolbert Small is the legendary physician, poet, social activist and humanist who served as the leading physician for the Black Panther Party, setting up their national sickle cell anemia foundation and the George Jackson free clinic. Along with Dr. Mutulu Shakur, he was one of the first Western physicians to practice acupuncture in the United States and was among the first to visit the People’s Republic of China. Learn more at https://the-peoples-doctor.com/.