On this edition of Parallax Views, Mike Africa, Jr. was born in prison. His parents, Debbie and Mike Africa, were one of 9 members of the Philadelphia-based radical liberation organization MOVE after a year long stand-off with police that ended in the death of an officer. MOVE stands by their claim that the police attacked them and that, in fact, they did not shoot the officer in question. Instead the officer was shot by his own colleagues in the chaos. Eyewitness accounts at the time as well as other evidence have since led credence to MOVE's claims in regards to this infamous 1978 stand-off. Nonetheless, the MOVE 9 were sent to prison and in 1985 the non-incarcerated members of MOVE had a bomb dropped on their home at the direction of Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Osgood. In prison Debbie and Mike gave birth to their son Mike Africa, Jr. who has continued to spread the liberationist message of MOVE while living by his inspirational motto "Never Give Up". For years, Mike Africa, Jr. campaigned for the release of the MOVE 9 and since that time all the members have been released. Unfortunately, one of the MOVE 9, Delbert Africa, recently passed away. As such Parallax Views thought it would be worthwhile to remember MOVE w/ Mike Africa, Jr.
Mike Africa, Jr. joins us to discuss the story of MOVE as well as to elucidate for us what the MOVE organization believes. Life, Mike says, is at the center of MOVE founder John Africa's philosophy, or, as some have argued, religion. Mike also discusses how he was able to get through the difficult years in his youth separated from his imprisoned parents thanks to the support of his community. Additionally, Mike tells us a bit about the experience of being reunited with his parents Debbie and Mike Africa after they were released from prison. Moreover, we discuss the current protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd and the possibility that they are an "awakening point", the prison without bars that many gladly accept being trapped in, the need to take justice rather than expecting it to be given, what it takes for change to occur, "The System" as a mentality that has created global oppression, the caged animal (such as a tiger in the zoo or circus) as a metaphor for the oppression of humans, MOVE founder John Africa's adage that "the people are as sick as their government", the plight of children whose parents are incarcerated, and more.
Mike Africa, Jr. reunited with his parents Debbie Africa and Mike Africa, Sr.
April 2nd, 1946
June 15th, 2020