Date Approved

2-17-2021

Embargo Period

2-19-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. History

Department

History

College

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

First Advisor

Rose, Chanelle

Second Advisor

Blanck, Emily

Third Advisor

Joy, Sandra

Keywords

African American Studies, Recent History, Social History, Philadelphia

Subject(s)

African Americans--History; Extremists--United States; Police--Philadelphia

Disciplines

United States History

Abstract

This thesis examines the extremist group, MOVE and its founder Vincent Leaphart (a.k.a John Africa) in the context of Revolutionary Black humanism, rather than simply a footnote in the tragic events of May 13, 1985. it explores MOVE's predecessors in the Black Panther movement, including The Black Panther Party and how these organizations and individuals might have influenced MOVE and their aims. In addition, ample examination is given to the role that systemic police brutality and racism, specifically within the Philadelphia Police department and city government played in the decisions that MOVE made as they attempted to create a community in the ultimately unwelcoming urban settings of two Philadelphia neighborhoods; but also in the methods employed by the police and city officials as they effected the removal and attempted extermination of the group.

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