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May Stories: Black Community Resilience and State Violence from Philadelphia to Jamaica

January 25, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Stories of Black communities’ resistance against and resilience amid state violence abound throughout Chronicling Resistance: The Exhibition. Join us for this provocative companion program in which filmmakers Louis Massiah and Deborah A. Thomas will screen and discuss documentaries that explore these stories through infamous incidents of state violence in Philadelphia and West Kingston, Jamaica.

Aerial shot of 63rd Street and Osage Avenue, May 14, 1985

On May 12, 1985, a virtual army of city and state police converged on a quiet block in historic Cobb’s Creek, a blossoming neighborhood of parks and children, aluminum siding and basketball stars nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s African American community. By the next day, 61 homes were destroyed and 11 people were dead, all members of the communitarian MOVE organization. In The Bombing of Osage Avenue, Louis Massiah explores the real human loss suffered by a Black community that was nearly destroyed by its own city.






Deborah A. Thomas’s experimental documentary, Four Days in May: Kingston 2010, explores the archives generated when the military and police forcibly entered Tivoli Gardens and surrounding communities in West Kingston, Jamaica. This effort to apprehend Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who had been ordered for extradition to the United States to stand trial for gun and drug-related charges, resulted in the deaths of at least 75 civilians. The film features community residents talking about what they experienced during the “incursion,” and naming and memorializing loved ones they lost. It prompts us to ask, “What does sovereignty sound like? What does a wounded city look like? What could repair feel like?”


Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

6:00 PM

Skyline Room, Parkway Central Library (4th Floor)


January 25, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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