Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved
The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved<br>The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

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"Whenever I use BLACK it relates to some history of Africans in that particular place. It’s the idea of the color BLACK as a metaphor, or as a representation of African-Americans. It’s the notion of BLACK- BLACKNESS - and all its other meanings in relation to the history of race..."

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"Most of my fortitude to continue doing the work comes from the moral outrage I feel about the injustices that Black people endure disproportionately daily."

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"In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-African consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us (African folks). We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first..."

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LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Monday, October 19, 2009

Black Teen Set Afire Now Charged for Earlier Fight


Teen Set Afire Now Charged for Earlier Fight

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 5:23 am
By: Denise Stewart, BlackAmericaWeb.com

A Black Missouri teen, who last month was doused with gasoline and set afire by two white schoolmates, now faces charges himself as he recovers from burns over most of his body.

Walter Currie Jr., a 15-year-old in Poplar Bluff, Mo., was burned on June 13 after an exchange with two teens with whom he reportedly had a previous altercation.

The youth who allegedly doused him with the gasoline and lit the fuel has been charged with assault as a juvenile, Currie’s parents said.

On July 6, several weeks after the incident, authorities gave Currie and his parents notice that he is being charged in connection with another incident where a teen related to the youth who set him afire was hit in the face, said Winonia Currie, Walter’s mother.

“All of a sudden, they decided to charge him with something that happened on June 10, but Walter said he didn’t have anything to do with it,” she said.

Because all of the people involved are juveniles, court officials in Butler County, Missouri said they can give only limited details on the incidents and cannot discuss names.

“I can tell you that there are charges against everyone involved,” Lesi Smith, chief juvenile officer for Butler County, told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

The suspects have not been revealed publicly and could not be reached for this story.

Walter Jr. said the teen who burned him told him he had gasoline and a lighter, and then began to spray him with the fuel before striking the lighter. Walter Jr. ran and jumped on a car, rolling on it to try to stop the burning. He even shed some of his clothing.

Initially, the youth suspected of burning Walter Jr. was arrested and was being held in a juvenile detention facility. He has since been released, according to sources familiar with the case.

The Curries say they want to see justice for their son. They want the 16-year-old to face stiff penalties.

“I want him to serve some time,” Walter Currie Sr. told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Winonia Currie said her son is scheduled for a hearing on Aug. 5 at 1 p.m. and the teen that set her son afire is scheduled on the same day, in the same courtroom, at 2:30 p.m.

The Curries say they have only lived a couple of years in Poplar Bluff, a town about 125 miles south of St. Louis, Mo.

“It’s like a country city,” Winonia Currie said.

Though the family has received words of encouragement from black and white residents, Mrs. Currie said she questions whether everyone will get just treatment.

“The prosecutors have told us they will do everything they can to try him as an adult, but we’re getting very little information,” she said.

The charges for Walter Jr. bring additional hardships for the family.

“We’ve had all these medical bills. The insurance will only cover so much. We have to take him back and forth to the hospital in St Louis,” she said. “Now we have to try to find a lawyer. That’s more money.”

Doctors have told the Curries that it may be two years before their son’s burns are completely healed. He suffered burns on much of his body, including his face, chest, neck and arms.

“The physical wounds are healing, but we still have to deal with the mental stability,” Mrs. Currie said.

The incident has taken a devastating toll on the Walter Jr. and the family, said Tierra Shaffer, Walter’s older sister via email. “He has nightmares of being burned alive,” she said.

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