I would like to thank the Move family especially Mona for providing me the opportunity to write a statement on behalf of Brother Phil Africa. I met Phil once during the summer with some of the Move family. Prior to the visit, my knowledge about Phil was through his incredible art, Move documentaries and personal stories by Move members. When I met Phil, he acted as if he known me for years. He smiled and laughed the entire visit. He teased Theresa like brothers tease their sisters. It was hilarious seeing them fight. We talked about jazz and some of his favorite artist which included John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, and Thelonious Monk.
Phil shifted the conversation to the struggle of today and the role of the system. He said, “The system will always test you to see how strong and committed you are.” While listening to Phil, I was thinking about how this revolutionary freedom fighter was stolen from his family and community. And how we will always be at a level of disadvantage with our political prisoners away from us. But this disadvantage has not hindered our struggle!
The gathering today for our dear brother is to celebrate his life and legacy. To honor and salute his courage and commitment to the revolution. But we have to truly honor his legacy and continue the work. The work to FREE the Move 9 and all political prisoners. We will not let the 37 years you spent incarcerated as an innocent man be in vein. The current movement of Black Lives Matter include our political prisoners.
We honor you Phil by speaking truth to power about the Move 9’s innocence. We honor you by supporting Mona when she calls on the community for assistance. We honor you by staying steadfast and not backing down and compromising to this system. We honor you by never letting this city forget about the 78’ confrontation and the 85’ bombing of our brothers and sisters. We honor you by collectively organizing and mobilizing for the 30 – Year Anniversary of the May 13, 1985 bombing
Brother Phil you were an exemplary soldier for the struggle of Black Liberation. We love and honor your life and legacy.
Long live the spirit of revolution!
Long live the spirit of Brother Phil Africa!
Sister Patrice K. Armstead