Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bombing Blacks In The US - Philadelphia And Tulsa

The only aerial bombing by police ever carried out on US soil was on May 13, 1985, when a Philadelphia police helicopter dropped military grade explosives on the house run by a group of self-styled revolutionaries known as Move. This group, which claims to adhere to principles of non-violence was founded by John Africa in 1972, and was composed mostly, but not exclusively, of African-Americans. They rejected the norms of 20th century American society in their dress, grooming, diet and lifestyles, and had come in conflict with authorities on several occasions.

The 1985 bombing claimed the lives of five children and six adults including founder John Africa. Another adult named Ramona Africa, and a child named Birdie Africa were the only survivors of the assault. More than 250 people in the predominantly black middle class neighborhood were left homeless after more than 60 other homes were destroyed as a result of the aerial bombing, and the fires that followed.

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But that was NOT the first time Blacks in the US were bombed from the air. Here is an account of what happened during the Tulsa, OK race riot in 1921:

Numerous witness accounts described airplanes carrying white assailants, who fired rifles and dropped firebombs on buildings, homes, and fleeing families. The planes, six biplane two-seater trainers left over from World War I, were dispatched from the nearby Curtiss-Southwest Field outside Tulsa. Law enforcement officials later stated that the planes were to provide reconnaissance and protect against a "Negro uprising". Eyewitness accounts and testimony from the survivors maintained that on the morning of June 1, the planes dropped incendiary bombs and fired rifles at black residents on the ground.

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Another forgotten aspect of our sordid history.

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