Reflecting on Churne (from Mutulu Shakur)

Photo of Churne Lloyd Allah God gives us companions early in life. “Brother” has been my uncle, comrade and friend; he’s had my back, no matter where we’ve been in the world, all my life.

There is no better name that could be assigned to him, Churne Lloyd Jr., but “Brother”. Brother has served as the axel in the various interconnected family wheel. A task he performed seemingly effortlessly or was I that we just didn’t see its impact on him. Hopefully he understood our love and deep respect.

“Brother”, you’ve been the true constant in my life. I miss you so much right now in the quiet reflection of my soul. I thank you so much for looking after me.

As the world looks a skew at the general lack of responsible Black men, “Brother’s” example, irresponsive of life’s complications, is built on very fundamental principles, the dedication to his two daughters and son, his family and wife, and his people and community. He loved his wife Mariane so much he married her twice.

In our conversation last month, here in the most maximum prison in the United States, Florence ADX Colorado, he wanted me to know how proud he was of his children how special and independent they were. Because of his life experience, he transmitted his lessons to stay focused; he provided them with the opportunity to insure their quality of life and free spirit. You all should know he was so proud of you all.

Thru the perilous path of my life in the struggle for dignity of our people, Brothers continued counsel and perspective helped to balance my emotions with reason. His spiritual being was calming to me. In this time and space, it hurts to think of this world without you in it, my Brother.

Brother, I know it hurts to express how much we love you and we’ll miss you. I’m sure Grandma and Daddy will be glad to welcome you, Uncle Johnny and all the Lloyds, Robinsons, and Shakurs. They’ll have a family reunion. Dear Brother you are the best of us, the strong, gentle warrior. Always steady at the wheel.

Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope, sometimes we cry with everything but tears. In the end that’s all there is love, and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that’s all we have to hold on tight until the dawn.

For all who didn’t get a chance to know Churne Lloyd, Jr. known to us as “Brother”, he was the most honorable and sweetest man I know. I can’t think of a time that I’ve seen him disrespectful to anyone arguing with anyone. One night in the Bronx some stick up crew tried us, Brother never raised his voice or even got mad, he just put in work. When he was imprisoned in Turkey, the same the one in the midnight express, after a tremendous effort to get him released when he arrive home he was so calm like nothing at all had happened, calming in spirit and manner.

When he and I were young navigating the gamut of discovering our manhood in the 60’s, a time when I was in search for my biological father in my despair I began drinking wine, and hanging on the corner, falling down drunk in pity, a behavior that had a short life.

My big younger Uncle Brother’s strong arms picking me up off the park bench in Baisley Park, carrying me over his shoulder to Grandma’s house in the still of the night, cleaning up my vomit, hiding me in the basement, knocking me on my ass, dismissing my liquor courage. Sharing my pain, listening to me in search of my place.

Brother was my rock then, as he’s been all my life. I pray that I served his essence as he’s served mine. This time won’t allow for the depth of our life journey.

How I LOVE YA BROTHER.

Edie, Becky, Nina, Sharon, Madeline, Mom, the Baisley Park family, I know all of your hearts are in pain. We will always be so proud of his example. Teach our children how special he was; others should be so blessed to have a “Brother” in their lives.

I thank God’s love for Brother, not to let him suffer. The quickness of his transition, left us reeling, feeling denied a chance to say goodbye, and thank you. But I know in the depth of our hearts we’d preferred that brother not spend one minute in pain.

As a family we must take up his slack and try to stay close and informed about each other. Using his life as an example. Growing stronger, leaving guidance for our children to know their family. Start a family reunion, documenting our history.

Many might not know, but I want to thank Brother and The Committee of Friends and Family of Dr. Mutulu Shakur. My years in the Black Liberation movement would assume there was an organizational ability to guide the political, legal and social support. After the lack of a predictable development it was Brother’s intervention and steady hand
that circumvented the normal contradiction inherent in the movement’s style of work and ideological dilemmas, providing me with a functional level of support for over 25 years. He built it, what will happen now will be based on his leadership.

Brother, memorialized my legacy in the struggle for our people and human rights, my legacy is without question his legacy. Brother, thank you for your stewardship that has kept me in the mind’s eye of our people, with the health activist award.

Thank you for all the visits, phone calls, commissary, the website, and events. So much you’ve done on my behalf. Please forgive me for any undue stress I might have caused you. You told me it kept you focused.

Please, Tupac (2Pac), Lumumba, Zayid, Abu, Myatari, give Brother love. Brother I love you for the sake of the one who loves us all.

One the next level of our existence I will embrace you my uncle friend comrade and BROTHER.

Love goes on forever because love is born in the part of us that can not die.

I will become apart of your children lives, if they’ll have me. I know how important they are to you… I can feel your peace and I am now calm.

We should feel joy because Brother will be welcomed in Paradise. He’ll be where the best people go after this life.

Close your eyes and open your heart and you’ll feel him…

I Love you forever,

Your nephew

Mutulu Shakur
July 29, 2008