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A Portrait Of Urban Terror

1On May 31st in Tulsa, Oklahoma police dropped dynamite on the flourishing Black neighborhood of Greenwood bombing it from the air destroying what was known as “Black Wall Street”.

Andre Jones wrote a great piece that recounts a very important part of a relatively recent African American history that most people know very little about. In Philadelphia an organization known as MOVE were bombed much in the same way. The city sanctioned this massacre that took place on May 13th, 1985 in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

Here is the story:

The MOVE organization was initially founded by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart), who dropped out of high school at age 16 with a third grade reading level. After serving in the Korean War and becoming disgusted at the American “class system”, John met Donald Glassey, a social worker at University of Pennsylvania. Though John was, for all purposes, functionally illiterate – this did not stop him from making astute observations about how society operated. Glassey who became quite interested in John’s ideas offering to transcribe those thoughts. This cumulated into a three-hundred page manuscript that became known as “The Guidelines” – the “bible” of the MOVE organization.

The original name of MOVE was actually “Christian Movement for Life”, which was shortened to “the Movement” and ended up being simply called MOVE. Though considered a black liberation group by many, The MOVE organization attracted both black and white members who were frustrated with society and needed “answers” to many societal ills. MOVE seemed to provide answers to those questions.

MOVE’s back-to-nature approach involved eating only raw food, eschewing soap and electricity, and refusing to practice any type of birth control measures. After hearing various complaints from neighbors regarding various intolerable living habits of the MOVE members, such as loud and profane proselytizing through the use of a bullhorn and composting which created a rodent issue among other health hazards, the city and its then mayor, Frank Rizzo, decided to get involved.

In May of 1977, MOVE members started appearing on their porch at 307-309 N 33rd St, in Powelton Village wearing military outfits and brandishing firearms in response to an order to vacate the premises (owned by Donald Glassey). This set off a 14 month siege which tragically ended on August 8th, 1978 with a police officer being killed in a shootout with MOVE members. The MOVE home was demolished, and nine of its members were sentenced to prison terms ranging from thirty to one hundred years (those members are now known as “The MOVE 9”). Two years later, MOVE relocated to 6221 Osage Avenue in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia where the same problems presented themselves along with new ones.

After numerous complaints from neighbors along with various indictments of MOVE members for various crimes, on March 13, 1985, the Philadelphia Police Department attempted to remove and arrest indicted MOVE members from the Osage Avenue building.  As before, this resulted in an armed standoff with the Philadelphia Police Department.  This time they went a drastic step further, dropping two improvised bombs made of C-4 and Tovex (a dynamite substitute and a water gel explosive used in underwater mining), on the roof of the MOVE home. The deadly attack left 11 of 13 MOVE members who were inside the home dead, five of which were children. The resulting fire destroyed 61 homes and left 240 people homeless. Philadelphia is the second American city to use explosives on its own constituents and became known as “The City That Bombed Itself”.

A Federal jury found that Police Commissioner Gregore J. Sambor and Fire Commissioner William C. Richmond made a decision to allow the resulting fire to burn for almost an hour (the bombs did not create the desired effect), creating the aforementioned disaster. They awarded the two remaining survivors, Ramona Africa and young Birdie Africa (Michael Ward), a total of $1.5 million in civil damages, finding the City of Philadelphia liable for the fire that ended up killing 11 MOVE members and turning a working class city block into ashes. Over twenty families are still battling the City of Philadelphia to pay for their demolished homes.

We think America is a great place, which is true but often times it is not so much for people of color. History has shown that it will repeat itself – thanks for the reminder Andre Jones. An atrocity such as this could happen to you. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Heartless Conservatives

Ken-BlackwellI often wonder about the souls of mankind, which in this case begs the question; where is the compassion that the Republicans and those conservatives who claim to be compassionate? They claim to be Christians or at least religious. So what would Jesus think of their actions? Moreover, what God is it that they claim to worship say?

There is a saying the Indians used while their country was being stolen, which was they “speak with forked tongue”! One conservative activist said, there’s “nothing more Christian” than the massive food stamp cuts passed last week by House Republicans”. If I can recall – this is not Jesus’ teaching. Therefore, I would suggest these people have the heart of a devil.

When I read and hear remarks by the people of this ilk I can only compare them to the past wretched history of the Klan and those people who supported and owned “slaves”. These people are as despicable as any of the old Segregationist and dare I say the bold racist of the past like Wallace, Thurman, Connors, and so many more. The actions of James Crow Junior are shockingly sad.

Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow for the Family Research Council, told the Christian Post on Saturday that welfare programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program bred dependency. Blackwell a black man is the former Ohio secretary of state and failed 2006 gubernatorial candidate said he favored empowering the poor and working poor to become self-sufficient.

Blackwell, like most of these Republicans, does not quote any specific plans for doing this. This guy went on to say “making sure they are participants in their own upliftment and empowerment so that they, in fact, through the dignity of work … can break from the plantation of big government.” I have a thought that maybe the job creators might consider – CREATE JOBS!

Christian advocacy groups are divided over whether the 10-year, $40 billion cut to the food stamp program passed last week in the House would help America’s poor. Let me answer that for those who this issue is too complicated – NO IT WON’T!

Rev. Gary Cook, director of church relations at the anti-hunger group Bread for the World, told the Christian Post that food stamps had strong biblical support. “In the whole kind of Biblical frame, God made three provisions for hungry people… One was the tithe, which was literally a tax, because the government was the same as the religious order, and allowed widows and orphans to eat”, Cook said.

“The second provision was that there would always be Sabbath and jubilee, where every seven years and 50 years, there was land redistribution. This provision was to prevent class of people that were currently hungry.” The last, Cook said, was gleaning — where corners of the field were deliberately not harvested so poorer members of the community could gather the remainder and use it to feed themselves. “Here, hungry people have access to food as a matter of right, not as a matter of charity,” Cook told the newspaper.

But Blackwell contends that any gaps in coverage should be filled by charity, not the government. Now, this sad Negro Blackwell said “America is such a compassionate nation, nothing in history that suggests that churches and communities and our families would let people die of hunger, there is absolutely nothing”. But he/they want the government to do so.

The GOP are masters of finding some pitiful Negro to sellout and say anything for “thirty pieces of silver”. God said, “as you do to the least of thee – you do to me”. Again, what would Jesus say! I don’t think he is going to like this. And that’s my thought provoking perspectives…

Why Do I Need To Be Different?

About The Book

Book CoverHave you looked in the mirror recently? Was the person looking back at you the person you used to be or are you not sure who is starring back at you? Sometimes during the course of life we allow ourselves to become what society says we ought to be. Society and its norms should not be how we define ourselves.

God has made each one of us to be uniquely different and special in our own right. When we take the time to examine ourselves we may be surprised how much of the real us is gone. Physically we disfigured ourselves or made ourselves sick trying to measure up to how society says we ought to look or be. Who I Be is personal. It is time that we focus on who and how God intended for us to be.

We were fearfully and wonderfully made and we should find satisfaction in being made in God’s image and not who or what society says we should be. Our physical, emotional, mental, and financial status does not make us. Who I Be is about the person who can be themselves and not be stressed or anxious about becoming another product of circumstances or norms to be wholly.

About The Author

head shotAnnie Brown was born to the parents of Lonza and Daisy Duckett in Alexander City, Alabama. She was the third of four children. Annie is the proud parent of four adult children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild. She is a licensed minister and attends Joyful Noise AOH Church of God in Sylacauga, Alabama where she serves as the church secretary.

Annie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Montevallo and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Alabama. She currently works at Lakeside Hospice, Inc. in Pell City, Alabama as a hospice social worker.  As a social worker, Annie works with the terminally ill, providing emotional support at the most critical time in an individual’s life.

Annie’s heart desire is that people will learn to love themselves. In order to love themselves a person cannot conform to society’s norms as to what is acceptable but rather believe what God’s Word says.


We did not choose our parents, so we have no control over our DNA makeup. But I do know and trust God’s Word that we all were wonderfully and fearfully made. Is not that a blessing that no matter what our beginning features were like, God made us good and very good? It is that innate (inborn) desire within us to be accepted by the world standards that keeps us from accepting who we really are. Contributing factors are the lies the devil has us believing that there is always something wrong with us. We are never satisfied. If we are short, we want to be taller.

If we have a dark complexion, we want to be lighter. If we are white, we want a tan. If we are slender, we want to put on weight, and if we are obese, we want to lose weight. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to make some adjustments to our physical bodies, it becomes almost an obsession when the images that society and the devil paint as acceptable are what we yearn to be.

So what do we need to do as we feed into this deception and believe things are what the devil tells us they are? We should cry out to God as King David did on so many occasions for help. If we want to step from low self-esteem to confi dence, we must take heed of the Word of God and believe what God says about us. Since the fall in the Garden of Eden, the adversary (the devil) has been deceiving people to believe that he knows better than God. St John referred to the devil as a liar and the father of lies.

Buy Links

Author website:  www.anniecbrown.com



Connect with the Author

Email Address: aclara2002@yahoo.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annieclara2002

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Trailer http://youtu.be/LkRxAl6s6lo

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