- Posted September 19, 2013 by
Charlotte, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What are you watching?
A Panther in Africa
On October 30, 1969, Pete O’Neal was arrested for the transporting of a gun across state lines (under a law implemented only two weeks prior to his arrest). After getting out on bail, he and his wife fled to Sweden then to Algeria and finally to Tanzania in 1972, where he still lives in exile.
Together with his wife, Charlotte, he is the co-founder of the United African Alliance Community Center (UAACC) in the village of Imbaseni, near the northern city of Arusha, Tanzania. The UAACC is a center focusing on healing the community by providing a diverse array of free art, music, film and other classes to members of the community.
The UAACC also serves as a hostel for people travelling through the area—offering several “huts” with bunk beds. The center has been frequented by several celebrities, American politicians, study abroad programs, students, documentary film makers and artists. Pete and Charlotte provide numerous jobs to locals of the community and the center is entirely run by local Tanzanians.
What I loved about this documentary is that one could clearly see that time and maturity had transformed Pete O’Neal. Of course, he still holds true to what he believes (equal rights and betterment of people) but today, after 42 years of exile, his mindset is totally different. As an older man, being overtly radical and extreme isn’t appealing and even rational anymore. And often times he finds himself battling between the life he knew in America and the work he is doing today. In one part of the film, we get to see that “struggle” and watch how he transforms even more.
This is a wonderful documentary and I was happy to learn more about another person who wasn’t afraid to truly go forth with what he believed in. Pete O’Neal, keep serving and living out your purpose! Remember, in all things give thanks! Live..Love…Do!