Mama C (aka Charlotte Hill O'Neal) is an internationally known community activist, visual artist, musician and poet of more than two decades of experience. She was born in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1951, has lived in Africa with her husband Pete O'Neal since 1970, and is the mother of two children. She is the director and cofounder of the United African Alliance Community Center, located outside of Arusha, Tanzania, which provides training for village youth and sponsors the Leaders of Tomorrow Children's Home program.
As a member of the Black Panther Party, she was taught the importance of building international solidarity among all people while honoring her ancestral roots. Her philosophy has never changed, and many of her poems and songs reflect a burning desire and mission to spread peace, love, empowerment, and unity through her art.
In many of her poems, Mama C explores the reality of her life as a diaspora-born African who has lived most of her years in Tanzania, and one of her most famous of these is I Almost Lost Myself. A trailer of a new documentary about her life as an artist and activist, Mama C: Urban Warrior in the African Bush, by Joanne Hershfield, can be found on the web. She is also featured in A Panther in Africa, a PBS documentary by Aaron Matthews.
Her first poetry book was Warrior Women of Peace, and her second book, Life Slices, is due out in early 2014. Her artwork is featured in collections around the world.