Churne Lloyd: Black Liberation Warrior Joins the Ancestors

Monday August 4, 2008, 5-8PM
Benta's Funeral Home
141 Street and St. Nicholas Ave.
Harlem, New York
Open Mike

Tuesday August 5, 2008, 11:00 AM
Bethel Gospel Tabernacle
110-25 Guy Brewer Blvd.
Jamaica, NY

In lieu of flowers and contributions to the family please send your gifts to:
The Family and Friends of Mutulu Shakur
PO Box 3171
Harlem, NY 10027


Brother Churne Lloyd was 57 yea rs old when he suddenly died on his way to see a doctor about his back spasms and severe congestion this week (August 5, 2008).

Churne was the first generation fruits of the Black power era. He was a product of the open enrollment struggle on the CUNY campuses in the late 1960s. He was a participating member of the Black Student Union formed at Queens College in 1970 as a result of the success of that struggle. He grew up in those Queens neighborhoods that produced many of the Panther cadres in New York. These formative experiences set him upon his life's work as a cadre of the Black Liberation Movement.   


Churne Lloyd was a veteran activist in the Black Liberation Movement. For over thirty five years, he was part of the leadership cadre of a number of organizations which defined that Movement as it exists in Harlem, in New York City, and in the nation at large. For the past two years Churne gave many hours to the creation of a Black Liberation think tank, which now exists as the New York Resea rch and Information Collective. He did this while continuing to provide leadership to the struggle to free our political prisoners. This was both a political and personal priority he shouldered as the uncle of one of most celebrated freedom fighters Dr. Mutulu Shakur and one of the central cadres of support organization the Family and Friend of Dr.Mutulu Shakur. : an organization devoted not only to supporting those on the inside but keeping their ideas and organizations vibrant for new generations of Black folks.


Churne was a Pan African Internationalist. He was an integral part of the anti-Apartheid struggle of the 1970-80s participating in the mobilization to support the Soweto Uprisings of 1977, Blacks in Support of Southern African Liberation. He was a founding member of the Metropolitan Organizing Committee of the Black Radical Congress and devoted long hours to its agenda and programs until leaving the organization in 2003.


Churne was one of the founding cadres of the Black New York Action Committee. For over 15 years Churne built that organization to be a radical presence in Harlem. He was at the center of the organizations tenant organization efforts, first in the late 1970s on 123rd St. and later on 114th street and for the bulk of the 1980s with BN YACs Fannie Lou Hamer Institute located at 1878 7th. Ave. He held housing workshops for tenants at the institute and visited a number of buildings as part of the organization's effort to create an association of tenant organizations south of 116th street in Harlem. Tenants of 1845-51 7th Ave remember how hard and steadfast Churne worked to help the tenants gain control and ownership of those buildings from absentee slumlords and build their tenant association. More recently, Churne served a stint on the Board of the Harlem Tenants Council.


Churne helped actualize BNYACs educational programs. In the late 1970s he worked tirelessly to support St. Thomas Community School, and independent Black institution. In the 1980s he worked to help build the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute's tutorial programs and it's Saturday School. He facilitated community based political education by helping to design the "Reels in Focus" film and discussion series for the Institute.  He helped the organization launch the Black Music Comin' Home Series in the late 1970s which combined film, political oratory, poetry and jazz in a club-style atmosphere and helped launch a jazz renaissance in Harlem.

Churne s professional career was in the health related professions but one of his most notable contributions to our struggle was as part of the Coalition to Save Sydenham Hospital, where Churne manned the BNYAC Office and the barricades in that desperate struggle to save critical healthcare in Harlem. He also was at the center of one of the largest mobilization ever seen in Harlem, the candlelight march and vigil for the victims of the Atlanta Child Murders. His anti-police brutality work included participating in the organizing cadres and street demonstrations of the Henry Woodley Justice Committee and the Ashanti Bartlett Justice Committee for these two slain innocents.


Churne was an anti-war activist. He wrote and designed leaflets and pamphlets opposing imperialist wars in southern Africa, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. He delivered those materials door to door and street corner to street corner for over 35 years.

Churne did not miss meetings nor did he come unprepared. His notes were impeccable and thorough. He was the penultimate facilitator. Churne was even handed and fair-minded without a hint of mean-spiritedness. He could execute all of the necessary tasked demanded of a cadre in understaffed organizations: take notes, keep books, man the security detail at rallies, put down the chairs, put up the chairs. His ego needs never got in the way of the needs of the organization He did not need to be the leader but so often by example he was.


Let us not forget that Churne Lloyd was a family man. Therefore let us not honor the man and forget the needs of his family. The nurturing and protection of his wife, Maryhana, his son, Kamau,  his daughters, Efe and One, and his siblings, are now our responsibility.


Churne left us too soon. In that he reminds us of others we needed with us a good while longer; Safiya Henderson Holmes, Sekou Sundiata, Safiya Bukhari, Bill Epton, John Guerrant, Olive Armstrong, Brother Modibo, Preston Wilcox and the beat goes on. I will miss Churne but I will never forget him. He was my true friend for over thirty years We will miss Churne only if we forget him for he is now an ancestor but the memory of his example will remain a motive force in our people's struggle for liberation.

Brother Churne Lloyd... Presente!

Brother Bill Sales    


s. e. anderson is author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners"
Social Activism is not a hobby: it's a Lifestyle lasting a Lifetime