Jul 1, 2020, 6PM–7PM

Moving Forward: A Conversation with Debbie Africa, Mike Africa Sr. and Mike Africa Jr.

(left to right) Mike Africa Sr., Debbie Africa, and Mike Africa Jr.

The history of MOVE is uniquely intertwined with calls for justice in the wake of countless deaths by the hands of law enforcement and the continued subjugation of black citizens. MOVE, a black liberation group founded by John Africa in 1972, has long been a target of city officials. Their contentious encounters with Philadelphia police culminated with the bombing of their homes on the 6200 block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia on May 13, 1985. In 1978 nine members of the organization were incarcerated for allegedly killing a police officer during an altercation initiated by the police. Debbie and Mike Africa, two members of the MOVE 9, were released from prison in 2018. We are honored to have them in dialogue with their son Mike Africa Jr. who continues the fight for equality for black people.

Watch the full conversation:

The program coincides with artist Karyn Olivier’s exhibition, Everything That’s Alive Moves, which is currently on view through August 2020. The show’s title was a phrase articulated by John Africa when asked by a reporter to explain the origins of MOVE’s name. Upon entering Olivier’s exhibition visitors are given a red carnation to commemorate the lives of those MOVE members who died in the bombing.

Live captioning will be provided for this program by Caption Access. Please contact Natalie Sandstrom, Program Coordinator, at nsand@ica.upenn.edu with any questions.


Programming at ICA has been made possible in part by the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund to Support Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts and the Lise Spiegel Wilks and Jeffrey Wilks Family Foundation, and by Hilarie L. & Mitchell Morgan.