Second member of the MOVE 9, Michael Africa Sr., released on parole after 40 years in prison
After a 40-year imprisonment for being a member of the Black liberation organization, MOVE, Michael Africa Sr. has finally been released on parole.
In 1972, a group of Black revolutionary activists founded the Philadelphia based group, MOVE, in Powelton Village. The group organized communities against state violence, such as police brutality. In 1978, nine members of the group were arrested during a police raid. Since police officer, James J. Ramp, was fatally shot during the raid, all nine members were charged with third-degree murder, despite the fact that no substantial evidence was given. The captured members became known as the “MOVE Nine.”
Michael Africa Sr. is the second MOVE Nine member to be released. His wife, Debbie Sims Africa, was the first member, released last year.
Micael Africa Sr. told teleSUR,”It’s kind of surreal that I’m sitting on the porch with my son and his family — my wife is here… A couple of hours ago, I was sitting in a jail cell. I’m just trying to take it all in and get my bearings.”
Debbie Sims was pregnant with their son, Michael Africa Jr, when sent to prison. She gave birth and had her son taken away. After forty years, both parents are now reunited with their son. Michael Africa Jr. shared the joyous news via Facebook.
Two MOVE Nine members, Merle Africa and Phil Africa, have since died. Five members, Delbert Orr Arica, Janine Africa, Eddie Africa, and Janet Africa remain imprisoned. All MOVE Nine members use “Africa” as their last name to always remain united with one another and their revolutionary work.
In 1985, the local police department bombed MOVE’s headquarters and killed eight adults and five children. Over a hundred lost their homes.