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  • Freedom Fighter - Janet Holloway Africa - Black History and Literature Library
    Freedom Fighter - Janet Holloway Africa - Black Activist, Black Woman, Freedom Fighter - Black History and Literature Library

    Freedom Fighter - Janet Holloway Africa

    Age: 69

    Incarcerated since: 1978

    Convicted of: Third-degree murder of police officer James Ramp during Philadelphia siege

    Sentence: 30 years to life

    Despite the years of me attempting to do the things systematically required to achieve this kind of life, living according to the customs and traditions that were supposed to afford me some measure of satisfaction, I never reached that measure of satisfaction from this system.

    I was born in 1951 in New Jersey. My mother was single. She was the second child of 20. Both my grandparents had to work hard to support a family that size, so being the oldest girl, the burden of responsibility for raising her mother’s children fell on her – after I was born my mother gave me to my aunt to raise so I could have a “better life” than she could give me, and not have to grow up in the cold streets of Newark, New Jersey where she lived.

    I grew up living with my aunt getting pretty much whatever I wanted. We had a nice house, swimming pool in the backyard, my aunt sent me to dancing school for dancing lessons: tap, balle, and modern jazz. I was involved in sports, won medals, ribbons, and trophies in our town commerce olympics during my elementary years. Things came pretty easy for me. When I was 11, in the sixth grade, my mother got her life together and was able to take care of me and give me the kind of life she wanted to give me. I spent the next six years living back and forth between my mother and aunt. My mother felt guilty about having to give me up when I was a baby so she tried hard to make up for it. She gave me all kinds of things. I was well fed, had nice clothes, went to good schools, had nice friends with good parents, pretty much the normal upbringing.

    At 15 I got a job, this was to teach me how to be responsible and reliable and realize I had to pay my own way through life. After I got my driver’s license, my mother bought me a car. I graduated from high school. I had to be tutored my last year because I had an ulcerated stomach. I went to proms, went on dates, I lived the typical black, New Jersey, suburban life, but I still wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t content.

    I always felt there was something missing in my life but I didn’t know what it was and couldn’t explain it but inside of me there was always this empty feeling even when  I was with people I was close to, I still, deep down inside felt like I was alone that I didn’t really fit and I didn’t understand it. In my mind I was saying there must be something wrong with me, cause nobody else was feeling like that, but there was nothing I could do so I just went through the motions.

    As I got older, I started going from job to job, looking for the “right” job but never seeming to find it. I moved frequently looking to find a comfortable place where I felt settled and secure, I never found that either. In 1970, I moved to Philadelphia, got a job, met a man, had an average type relationship, got pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl. We bought a house in West Philly and tried to make things work.

    I remember sitting in my rocking chair with my newborn baby in my arms feeling the same way my mother felt, wanting something better for my daughter, wanting her to be safe, happy, free of the hurt, pain, disappointment and disillusion of this cold, cruel, prejudiced system.

    I did the only thing I knew to do, I prayed for guidance, direction, for something to give my daughter so she could have a good life. I got into religion, when I saw the ungodly behavior, the unclean conduct of those people calling themselves vessels of God, people who were supposed to be channeling me to righteousness, that left me numb, devasted and hopeless because I felt there was nowhere else left for me to turn. I was getting ready to go back to school, I had become so callous and mistrusting of everything that society claimed to be moral, I kept searching for something but I wasn’t as vulnerable or as easily accepting like I’d been before because I wasn’t going to get burnt again, wasn’t going to put myself in a position to be deceived, mislead and hurt like I did before.

    One day I heard about MOVE by word of mouth, and it changed my life forever. I was approached by an acquaintance and asked would I like to attend a meeting, a rap session MOVE was having, talking about the conditions of the world. I attended, Move Guidelines, John Africa’s teaching was read, the information was so clear, analytical and absolute it took me out. Not only was it breaking down this entire reform world system but descriptively explaining things so plain and clear, when I heard it it was so understandable, so right. It made me feel familiar and connected to it. I can’t even put into words the feeling I got hearing John Africa’s teaching, it gripped me in a way that I’ve never been gripped before, for the first time in my life I felt like there was hope for me, and there was reasons why I was so detached, dissatisfied and unhappy.

    I went to study sessions regularly and started incorporating John Africa’s teaching into my life, it cleared away so much confusion I had been carrying, my mind started untwisting my thoughts became clear. This reference was so clear it put me in touch with my instincts.

    Thanks to John Africa I’m truly satisfied, secure and have the life I’ve been searching for. I am strong, loyal, healthy, and committed to fight for all of life. I wouldn’t trade that for nothing. I can truly say that John Africa gave me my life back that this system took from me.

    I am a student of John Africa and I’ve been taught that the example of clean, righteousness can not be found in this reform world system and this is proven in the filth of this system’s entire history this is what MOVE is now working to rid ourselves from, and teaching others to do the same. John Africa has the direction to direct people away from man’s reform world system to nature, God, the perfect system.

    Long Live John Africa!

    Ona Move
    Janet Africa

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