Family Life, Rupture & Repair Through Storytelling

Virtual Event

With Debbie Africa, Mike Africa, Mike Africa Jr., Louis Massiah, Maori Karmael Holmes, and Ephraim Asili; moderated by Deborah Thomas & Krystal Strong


This panel assembles friends and members of the Move 9 who poetically reinscribe a sense of care, deep recognition, and aliveness against the dominant spectacle of Black death and suffering associated with the bombing, imprisonment, and unreturned bodily remains of the Africa family. Their works (The Bombing of Osage Ave, By Your Side, The Inheritance, 40 Years a Prisoner, Wilson No Goode, and Fly Baby!) address the history of state violence and the intimate tenors of family life fragmented and contained, but brought together again. 


*See statement from BlackStar below*

Co-presented by

Statement from BlackStar

Over the past few weeks, allegations of abuse have surfaced from adults who grew up in the MOVE Organization. These survivors left the organization and recently shared their experiences within MOVE publicly. BlackStar, and the cultural workers convening for this panel, stand in solidarity with the survivors and take their demands for safety, healing, recognition and accountability seriously. 


In the words of Debbie, Mike Sr., and Mike Jr., “we are also survivors and have expressed our concern and provided support to the out survivors. We condemn the acts of harm committed and support the healing of the said survivors and the many unsaid. Recognizing many issues within the organization, we want to make clear that we have not followed or associated with the current “leadership” of MOVE for years. We believe that there is a need for change in leadership within MOVE and specifically Mike Jr. have been working tirelessly to enact it.”


This panel focuses on Debbie, Mike Sr., and Mike Jr.’s journeys of separation, incarceration, and reunification, and how they have used film and media to tell their stories and continue seeking justice, repair and healing in the wake of bodily and psychic violence from the state and its attendant institutions. 


As filmmaker/activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons writes, “there is an opportunity for those who believe in and are committed to survivor-centered healing, non-carceral accountability, and liberation.” 


We seek to address and hold the complexity of multiple forms of violence – anti-Blackness, heteropatriarchy, militarism, and capitalism, being meted out in the face of freedom dreams, political struggle, love, and restitution.

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