Delbert Africa, free!

Delbert Africa brutalized by Philadelphia police on Aug. 8, 1978 (left), and after his release from prison on Jan. 18, 2020.

MOVE member Delbert Africa, held in prison since the confrontation of Aug. 8, 1978, has walked out of a Pennsylvania prison after 42 years. Delbert, in his 73rd year of life, came out to meet other members of the MOVE Organization, who greeted him with a hearty chant of “Long live John Africa!” and a MOVE salute. Del was in a good mood and high spirits, cracking jokes and eating sandwiches.

Aug. 8, 1978, was a date of infamy, for it marked an attack on the MOVE house in West Philadelphia’s Powelton Village, where hundreds of cops shot thousands of shots into the structure where men, women and children were huddled in the basement. Gunfire was followed by water cannons, where MOVE people had to fight to stay alive from being drowned.

When Delbert exited the house, he was beaten by several cops – rifle-butted, stomped and kicked viciously. When several of these cops were charged with assaulting Del, they had nothing to worry about, thanks to Judge Stanley Kubacki. Ignoring video tapes, he acquitted the cops, citing, among other things, Delbert’s muscles as justification for the beating.

Ironically, one of those cops charged might have been luckier if he were sent to prison. Several weeks after the trial, he was shot and paralyzed by his wife, who also happened to be a cop. 

Delbert Africa, MOVE member, walks free after 42 years in the joint.

From Imprisoned Nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Listen to Mumia’s commentary at Prison Radio