Message from Kiilu Nyasha, Sept. 2012
Happy Birthday, Comrade! Long live the spirit of George Lester Jackson!
Our beloved Comrade would be 71 on this date. It’s hard to grasp. I can only think of him as a young man of almost 30 — strong, handsome, intelligent, and revolutionary. Yes, he was all that…
In case you missed last Thursday’s interview with Dr. Tolbert Small, M.D., of the Harriet Tubman Medical Office in Oakland. He was George’s doctor, having gotten into San Quentin for visits, and shared a poem he wrote titled “The Heroic Guerrilla” five years after he was assassinated August 21,1971. Its impact is much greater read out loud by Dr. Small, and you’ll get to see him deliver it on Freedom Is A Constant Struggle, on Thursday, September 20, live at 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. (PST) BAVC Commons, Channel 76.
Dr. Small has a long history in the civil and human rights struggles, beginning in 1961 as co-founder of the University of Detroit NAACP, and later, involvement in the Northern Student Movement, SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee).
He was the Physician for the Black Panther Party from 1970 – 74, including being the first outside physician to visit the ‘adjustment centers’ (lockups) of San Quentin and Folsom prisons. His incarcerated patients included George Jackson, Angela Davis, and David Hilliard.
Dr. Small was the Medical Director of the George Jackson Free Medical Clinic in Berkeley, Operation Reach Drug Detox Center, and the People’s Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. In fact, Dr. Small spearheaded the campaign to alert the general public to sickle cell anemia through the BPP newspaper and other media, a disease obscured and neglected because it largely affected Africans and their descendants.
In 1972, Dr. Small visited the Peoples Republic of China and became one of the first American physicians to learn the practice of acupuncture.
His many awards include “The Outstanding Physician of the Year” by the Highland Foundation.
He has published papers re “An Alternative Treatment of Acute Withdrawal in Narcotics Addicts,” “The Neurophysiological Basis for Acupuncture,” “Acupuncture Anesthesia: A Review,” and numerous poems.