Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

“Mike Africa: Free!”

It has been 40 years since MOVE member Mike Africa has been able to walk the streets. Today, he can do so, because today, he is free!

A text from Mike Africa, Jr. announced to the world the following: “FINALLY FREE! On Aug. 8th, 1978, my dad was taken away from me. On Oct. 23rd, 2018, I got him back. #FreeTheMove9!”

Mike Africa is known as a committed runner. Even while he was in the Philadelphia County Jail, Old Holmesburg, he ran the periphery of the yards like a deer. He is a quiet, serious man who has suffered extraordinary repression during his prison days.

What lights him up is his wife, MOVE member Debbie Africa, and their two children, Whit and Mike. He has also been a serious student of music, playing guitar for many years.

Many years ago, when I worked as a reporter for WHAT radio, I invited MOVE members to the station to prepare some interviews. Shortly thereafter, 4 or 5 MOVE men arrived at the station, and when I looked out into the parking lot, I was surprised to not see a station wagon or bus.

When I asked the brothers where they had parked, the burst into laughter. When I asked them why they were laughing, one brother said, matter of factly, that they didn’t drive to the station. They ran to the station from MOVE’s old house and headquarters at 33rd and Powelton Avenue, quite a few miles away.

Mike though, had one thing in mind, asking “Where’s the music at man?” Even then, in 1976, his love of music was evident. Now, free, he can listen to music from around the world.

Mike Africa — Free!