Mama C: Urban Warrior in the African Bush
“Mama C: Urban Warrior in the African Bush” tells the story of Charlotte O’Neal, poet, musician, visual artist, spoken word artist and ex-member of the Kansas City Black Panther Party. Mama C, is a woman whose life was formed growing up in the artistically and politically vibrant atmosphere of the African American community in Kansas City, KS and then transformed by her experience over the past forty years living as an “urban warrior in the African Bush” of the Tanzanian village of Imbaseni, located near the city of Arusha, in the shadow of Mount Meru. Mama C speaks the dialect of black culture in the 1960s and Kiswahili, the colonial language of Africa. As a high-school student in the 1960s, she took part in community activism and Civil Rights work, leading a protest at her high school to force the school administration to recognize the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, and joined the Kansas City Black Panther Party as one of the youngest members. Through her art, performances, and music—a fusion of jazz, traditional African music, and hip-hop, Mama C speaks of a “new revolution” that is informed by “tribal wisdom, not tribalism” to a young generation of Africans in Africa and in the Diaspora.