sabato 14 maggio 2011
Who is Delbert Orr Africa (in a snapshot)
by Yvonne Orr on Friday, May 13, 2011Delbert Orr Africa is a political prisoner whohas been wrongfully incarcerated for over 30years. Delbert Orr was born June 21, 1951 (thisis the media published date, NOT the real onewhich will remain undisclosed...for the record,my dad is actually 65...do the math =). As ayoung man he joined the Chicago Chapter of theBlack Panther Party, where he met my mom. Aloving relationship ensued with her being afeisty officer of the BPP and him being a nubuckin the game of stand-up-for-yourselfrevolution. In 1969 the FBI put forth falsewarrants on the Chicago BPP leadership, includingmy parents. They and others then fled to Canadaand birthed One Phoenix Rising...they originallynamed me Malaika. They struggled to get anyfinancial support while in exile and startedcarrying out bank expropriations to sustainthemselves. I was born in a shack, by the waterwith no medical personnel, just a young woman (whohad finished high school at 16, college at 19 andbeen declared a Mensa member) dead set on ensuringthat I would have a life. In October of 1969 Delbert had been back inChicago. As he was driving back to Canada hecrashed and ended up in the hospital. Later, mymom got word that he was the sole survivor of theaccident and unable to walk. She spoke ofbringing me back to Chicago, but he warned ofraids being enacted against the BPP in Chicago.In December 1969, Fred Hampton, Sr. was murderedand they knew we had to head elsewhere.In March of 1970 Delbert and three other friendsdecided to head down to Philadelphia because oneof them was originally from there. It was therein Philadelphia that he met members of the MOVEorganization. He was inspired by their upliftingapproach to revolution and stayed on with them.My mom stayed in Philly for a few years andbrought me back to Chicago in 1973. Meanwhile,Delbert ended up becoming Minister ofConfrontation and Security for the MOVE Organization.MOVE vs. The policeAfter countless false charges, ongoing harassmentand many altercations, police finally decidedthat it was time for MOVE to be vanquished. Whenthe police raided the MOVE house in August 1978,Delbert was the one videotaped being beatenbrutally by police. He suffered a broken jaw andfractured eye socket from the attack.Life in PrisonDelbert started his prison sentence out in the"hole" for 6 years in a Dallas prison forrefusing to break his religious beliefs and cuthis hair. I was not allowed to visit with himduring this time. In fact, on one occasion myGranny-- who didnt' drive-- enlisted hergirlfriend to drive us from Texas to Philly aftergetting word that we could see him. Some 20 oddhours later, we were denied because my birthcertificate "didn't look right". We traveled backwith me in tears. I did get to see him a year 1/2later, though, making the same trek asbefore. In December 1989 he was transferred outof Dallas, they had riots at Camp Hill prison,which though he wasn't even a part of, the stateprison used as an excuse to send him to theFederal system. We didn't get word of histransfer for 11 months! In federal prison he wasunder 23 hour lock up, 24 hours lock up onweekends where they wouldn't even let him out foryard. He stayed in long-term solitary confinementuntil May of that year. Then they transferred himto another prison (again without informing his family).At the new prison he was offered a job in theprinting shop. They were mystified when he turnedthem down because pay was good for prison work-$86 a month. Delbert explained the situation,"I said, 'Naw, I don't want that." They said,"Wait a minute. This is just starting off, youcan move right on up." I said, "Look, I've beenin the hole for 6 years. I want some air! I don'twant no career in the prison." So they assignedme to the yard detail. And that was it, I lovedthat. I stayed in there a year and they shippedme back to state. When I got back they put me inthe hole for about 3 weeks, then I got out, theyput me in population.That "population" consists of repeat rapists,serial killers, true murderers and gang thugs.What I have learned through my father/daughterrelationship is that I am loved (despite thedistance & circumstances) by two parents. I'venever heard anything remotely cult-ish come outof my father's mouth. He's never "stronglyencouraged" me to join MOVE. He's been aneducator, mentor, protector and father as best ashe could given his situation. I love him, have noshame to claim him and will forever be bound by our blood. The May 13, 1985 bombing of the MOVE housewasn't justice! The bombing resulted in 11deaths, including 5 children and the group'sleader John Africa. Only 2 occupants survived,Ramona, an adult and Birdy, a child. In addition,60 homes were destroyed in the resulting fires.There does come a time when HUMANITY should takeprecedence over political agendas. Shame on us all for allowing many others beyondthe MOVE 9 to be wrongfully incarcerated as well.Seehttp://www.philly.com/philly/news/92093604.htmlfor more.