Pete O’Neal

Pete O’Neal (Mzee) was a former chairman of the Black Panther Kansas City chapter. The movement advocated for Free Health Care and Proper Housing for disadvantaged African Americans and an end to police brutality. In 1969 he was arrested for transporting a gun across state lines. He fled to Algeria and a year later to Tanzania, where he still lives in exile together with his wife Charlotte O’Neal.

He co-founded the United African Alliance Community Center (U.A.A.C.C) in the village of Imbaseni, Arusha. A community program that offers a wide range of free classes for almost 230 local people. The classes have so far trained over 2,000 young people using Tanzanian volunteer teachers. The UAACC also serves as a hostel for people traveling through the area – offering several “huts” with bunk beds. The center has been frequented by several celebrities, American politicians, study abroad programs students, documentary filmmakers (like us), and artists. It is funded solely by donations made by friends and family in the US. They teamed up with KUJI Foundation to bring fresh running water to Imbaseni village.

Pete O’Neal’s life and transition was the subject of a documentary titled ‘A Panther In Africa’. He is proof that an ideology born on the other side of the world can bear fruit elsewhere.