Press Release

Former Black Panther to Speak Oct. 4 at Ohio Wesleyan

September 26, 2016 – by Anna Davies '19

Charlotte “Mama C” O’Neal will speak Oct. 4 at Ohio Wesleyan. Her latest book of poetry is 'Life Slices...A Taste of Magic.'

Charlotte ‘Mama C’ O’Neal to Discuss Art and Community Building 

DELAWARE, Ohio – Former Black Panther Charlotte “Mama C” O’Neal, focus of the PBS documentary “A Panther in Africa,” will discuss “The Power of Art in Building Community” when she speaks Oct. 4 at Ohio Wesleyan University. 

O’Neal’s presentation, sponsored by the university’s Black World Studies Program, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Benes Rooms of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Admission is free. 

O’Neal is a musician, artist, poet, and author of “Warrior Woman of Peace: Philosophical Life Flows from an Urban Spirit in the African Brush.” At Ohio Wesleyan, she will discuss her experiences with creating community in rural Africa by utilizing her performance and written art. 

She and her husband, Pete O’Neal, a former chairman of the Kansas City Black Panthers chapter, now live in Tanzania. In 1991, they founded the United African Alliance Community Center, which works to educate children from the rural Arusha area in a communal environment. The center also works to develop cultural links with American communities. 

In addition, the O’Neals run the Leaders of Tomorrow’s Children Home, an orphanage for African children from impoverished backgrounds. The children attend school, get private tutoring sessions, and go on field trips across Tanzania. 

Ohio Wesleyan students participating in the OWU in Tanzania study abroad program spend time working with the O’Neals. 

This is Charlotte O’Neal’s second visit to OWU in the past few years. In 2014, she discussed how her and her husband’s backgrounds as Black Panthers helped them with their nonprofit work in Africa. Created in the 1960s to combat oppression, the Black Panthers also created several community service programs, including the Free Breakfast for Children Program and the People’s Free Medical Centers. 

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Black World Studies and OWU in Tanzania programs at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at