On May 13, 1985, under the leadership of Philadelphia’s first Black mayor, W. Wilson Goode Sr., police dropped a bomb on the home of the Black liberation and environmentalist group MOVE. Due to confrontations with police and the complaints of neighbors, MOVE had been declared a terrorist organization by the city.
Eleven MOVE members—five children and six adults—were killed in the bombing. In a resulting fire that the mayor allowed to burn for hours, more than 60 homes in and around the 6200 block of Osage Avenue were destroyed.
In June, Philadelphia’s City Council voted yes to renaming the street where Goode lives, the 2400 block of North 59th Street, after the former mayor who went on to become a minister.
In protest, local activists in the newly formed Serudj-Ta Alliance for Restorative Justice demanded, among other things, that W. Wilson Goode Sr. Way be rescinded. In this video, captured on October 9, 2018, the alliance erected a memorial shrine to the 11 people killed in the bombing that will forever haunt the City of Philadelphia.
Maori Karmael Holmes is founder of BlackStar Film Festival and has organized programs at Anthology Film Archive, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Barnes Foundation, and The Underground Museum. As a filmmaker, her film and video works have screened internationally including most notably, her feature documentary, “Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip-Hop.”