“Eddie Africa Free.”
The news came through like a beam in the night. Eddie Africa has been released today. Eddie Africa, MOVE member and survivor of the August 8th, 1978 MOVE confrontation in Philadelphia, was freed. Eddie Africa, after over 40 years in Pennsylvania state and U.S. federal prisons, was home. The news radiated like heat from a noon-day summer sun and then smiled as if seeing their grandchildren for the first time.
40 years is far more than 40 years if your name is Eddie Africa. That’s because MOVE people faced the fury of county and state officials and that meant a kind of cruelty that most prisoners have never seen nor imagined. He has survived beatings while handcuffed and at least one attempt to castrate him. He has been struck by weapons that have ruptured his abdominal wall.
And lest we forget, he has been held in prison for over 40 years despite evidence of his and other MOVE members’ innocence of any crimes in connection with the MOVE confrontation of August 8th, 1978.
That said, Eddie Africa is beloved among prisoners for his positive spirit and his eccentric sense of humor. Now, Eddie Africa is with his loving family at home.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.