Via Hyperallergic, April 23, 2021
“Activists in Philadelphia are demanding the termination of Janet Monge, a curator at the Penn Museum, after it was revealed this week that for decades, the museum held the remains of a Black citizen who was killed in the 1985 MOVE bombing.
Some experts believe that the bones are those of Tree Africa, a 14-year-old child who was killed in the bombing. In a statement today, April 23, activist group Police Free Penn (PFP) called on the museum to immediately return the remains to the Africa family; apologize to the family and Philadelphia’s Black community; offer financial reparations; and dismiss Monge, who has been in charge of the remains for the past five years.
Eleven people, including five children, were killed in May of 1985 after a police helicopter bombed a compound in West Philadelphia that housed members of MOVE, a radical Black liberation movement. Following the attack, an investigation committee turned the pelvic bone and part of a femur of an unidentified victim, believed to be Africa, to Alan Mann for forensic examination. At the time, the researcher was a Penn professor and a curator at the Penn Museum’s Physical Anthropology Section. But in 2001, Mann left Penn for Princeton University, taking the remains with him.”