Essay by Mike Africa, Jr. in Salon: Why We Can’t Settle for Apologies Now

Sun Aug 16, 2020

From the essay:

‘On May 10, 2020, former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode made a formal apology, in the form of an op-ed in The Guardian, for an atrocity that happened on his watch. It had been almost 35 years to the day since Philadelphia police flew a helicopter over the headquarters of MOVE, a revolutionary civil liberties organization, and dropped a bomb on the roof of the building. The bomb sparked a fire that would kill 11 people inside, including five children who were under the age of 15. These people were my family.

I was six years old when the bomb was dropped. From more than four miles away at my Grandmother’s house, I could see the thick black cloud in the air. I remember playing outside when a neighborhood kid told me, “They dropped a bomb on MOVE.” When I said, “No they didn’t,” he pointed to the sky to show me billowing smoke. I ran back in the house to find my grandmother, my aunt and other adults watching a raging fire on the television, with a woman screaming uncontrollably. When I said that looked like our home and our family, my aunt said, “It is.” ‘

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