The Bombing Of Osage Avenue – YouTube
I shall forever associate Mother’s Day, with the horrid memory of the Bombing of Osage Avenue, May 13, 1985. I was with my mother, on our way to dinner in center city, when the news came over the airwaves of WDASfm radio. We pulled over to listen to the broadcast, because traffic began to back up, because the sky began to turn black with smoke, and because we were unable to just continue with our day. I no longer remember whether we made it to dinner that day or how long it took us to finally make it home. I do remember watching the live broadcast, my heart growing heavier as events unfolded, and the death toll rose, thinking, “How could this happen?” I had visited friends who lived right next door to the MOVE organization, so I know first hand that frequent pronouncements over their loud speakers had become an extreme nuisance for the neighbors. But bombing people because they were a nuisance?
The Osage Avenue bombing is eerily similar to another horrific incident in Philadelphia history. On May 17th, 1838, Pennsylvania Hall was burned to the ground by an angry mob of pro-slavery protestors, enraged by an abolitionist gathering, as Philadelphia citizens, policemen and firemen stood by and Let it burn.
Every Mother’s Day, there invariably comes a moment in the day when I remember. And now, on yet another anniversary of the bombing, I ask myself, “How can we let this be forgotten?”
Michael Nutter, current mayor: “In the late ’70s, there were various public activities involving MOVE. I was studying at Penn, and really only generally aware of them.” –from MOVE: An Oral History.
Ramona Africa: The Historical Account of The MOVE Bombing in Philadelphia – The Wombman’s Song Community