History

John Africa

John Africa was the founder of MOVE, a Philadelphia-based, predominantly black organization that advocated for anti-war, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist causes. He was born Vincent Leaphart in 1931 and changed his name to John Africa in 1972 to represent the continent where life began. He was killed in 1985 when the Philadelphia police bombed his house, along with 10 other MOVE members, after a standoff and firefight.

John Africa’s teachings were based on a document called “The Guidelines”, which he dictated to a social worker named Donald Glassey. The document emphasized the importance of all life and the ways in which capitalism, war, racism, and other social forces serve as direct opposition to this reality. He encouraged strict vegetarianism, raw food, and communal living. He also opposed technology, industry, and modern medicine.

John Africa

John Africa has been classified as an anarcho-primitivist, a political philosophy that advocates for a return to a pre-industrial, pre-civilized state of existence. His followers adopted his last name and wore dreadlocks and sunglasses as symbols of their solidarity. They also engaged in protests and demonstrations against police brutality, animal abuse, environmental degradation, and other issues. They often clashed with the authorities and faced harassment, arrests, and violence.

John Africa’s legacy is controversial and complex. Some view him as a peaceful activist and a martyr for Black liberation. Others view him as a cult-like leader and a violent extremist. His story is one of the most tragic examples of police brutality and state repression in US history.

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