30 Years Later, Making Sense Of The MOVE BombingBreaking News
tags: African American history, Philadelphia, MOVE
Talk to some of the folks who lived through the bombing of 62nd and Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia 30 years ago, and you'll notice that they refer to the event by its full date. May 13, 1985.
That's how Gerald Renfrow refers to it when we talk about the inferno. His house is about 30 yards from the compound on which the bomb was dropped — practically ground zero. He'd been living there since long before the bombing, and now he's the block captain, trying to hold on to the home where he grew up and raised his own family.
That's how Perry Moody refers to it, too. His house is on the north side of Pine Street. On that day three decades ago, he had been evacuated from the block but watched as the houses on the other side of the street were swallowed up by flames.
So does Ramona Africa. She was actually inside the targeted house at 6221 Osage as it was battered by police bullets and deluge guns and, eventually, brought down by a makeshift bomb dropped from a police helicopter. She managed to escape the burning building. Her fellow members of MOVE, the radical organization to which she belonged that was standing off against the City of Philadelphia, were not as lucky.