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The Africas VS. America

CBC

In 1985, police dropped a bomb in a Philadelphia neighborhood. Their target? A family of Black radicals known as ‘MOVE,’ who found themselves ensnared in a city — and nation’s — domestic war on Black Liberation. Over seven episodes, host Matthew Amha investigates the events that culminated in the MOVE bombing, and the long afterlife of a forgotten American tragedy.


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All episodes are available ad-free on the CBC True Crime Premium channel.

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Our Editor's Take

The Africas VS. America tells the shocking true story of a culture clash that turned violent. This documentary podcast, hosted by Matthew Amha, follows the Black liberation group MOVE.

In 1985, the controversial group found itself in the crosshairs of the police. After years of brewing violence, the conflict culminated in a horrific bombing. This wasn't in a remote war zone but a thriving American city. What could lead the police to detonate explosives in a Philadelphia neighborhood? This thrilling seven-part series aims to answer that complicated question and many others.

Amha explores the founding of the revolutionary group by John Africa. Following his rise as a spiritual and activist leader, Africa would turn the group into a militia. Many of his followers would assume the surname "Africa," to which the podcast owes its title.

Throughout the series, Amha narrates the context of MOVE's battle with the police. He includes testimony from former members, witnesses, and law enforcement. Besides fascinating narration and interviews, the show has excellent sound design. The sound bed is complete with a beautiful score that sets the mood of each episode. Immersive sound effects pull listeners into the story. The result is a compelling narrative revealing a neglected chapter of American history.

Amha's strength as a reporter shines in The Africas VS. America. As a Canadian of Ethiopian heritage, his connection to this story adds emotional truth. In addition to creating this podcast, he is a reporter and journalist for CBC.

Amha deftly traces the troubled legacy of the MOVE organization. Some see them as radical domestic terrorists. Others might argue that the police were oppressing a group fighting for freedom. This podcast seeks to find the truth of the tragic violence, decades after the fact. It's a thoughtful exposé of a tumultuous era of history that may challenge listeners' preconceptions. All episodes of The Africas VS. America are available now.

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