Consuewella Africa (305796)
Credit: Contributed

A longstanding member of Philadelphia’s progressive back-to-nature family, MOVE, and mother of two youths murdered when ‘the city of brotherly love’ bombed their home on Mother’s Day 1985, became an ancestor June 16. Consuewella Dotson Africa, 67, had her husband, Frank Edwards; her biological brother and sister—Isaac and Zelma Dotson—bedside when she transitioned at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, while son, Lionel “Lobo” Dotson was communicating via telephone.

“She was exposed to COVID, but she had gotten over COVID, and the doctors were saying she started having lung problems, and they were saying it was because of stress. That’s understandable,” explained MOVE’s Janine Africa, adding this began earlier this month, causing Consuewella to be hospitalized for a couple of weeks.

MOVE learned in April that bone fragments from Consuewella’s daughter’s, Katricia “Tree”, 14, and Zanetta “Netta”, 12, who perished in the 1985 bombing, were being desecrated in anthropological studies by the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Princeton University, without MOVE’s consent. This troubled her, Janine noted, adding “The situation just put so much on her that it tore her down and she couldn’t come out of it.”

During an April press-conference a distraught Mrs. Dotson expressed: “I mean, it’s just continuous, nonstop, vicious, violent, sadistic, ongoing abuse of MOVE. Why? Because we stand up and tell the truth about this rotten reformed world system.”

Last month marked the 36th anniversary of the MOVE bombing, which killed 11 members, including 5 children.

“Through the stress with everything that was happening, her body just could not fight to get the air in her lungs because she was too burnt out and tore down from the stress,” Janine Africa explained. “So that’s what caused her to die. Once again, another death at the hands of the city of Philadelphia because they just took everything out of her with this last thing here, because she was reliving 1985 all over again, thinking about the children all over again and it just really broke her heart. There was no way that we could see this coming”

Born Aug. 11, 1953, Consuewella Dotson grew up in South Philadelphia, and joined MOVE in the early 1970s. As one of the MOVE 9, she served 16 years incarcerated following the Aug. 8 1978 police raid on MOVE’s Powelton Village home, resulting in the death of a cop by what was eventually established as “friendly fire” by another cop. She was paroled in 1994, recognized as MOVE’s “Minister of Confrontation.”

“She was a no nonsense straight forward person, but on the same hand, she was always making people laugh, always lively, always getting things going, getting people, having a good time,” Janine shared.

Sue Africa, who also lost her son, Tomaso, in the 1985 bombing, remembered her MOVE 9 comrade as “very vibrant, very alive, a very strong runner, very strong period, very vocal and assertive. This thing with the bones really stirred up some serious stuff with her. I personally––and so does my family––believe this had a big part in why she died so suddenly.”

MOVE’s website noted: “We hope that we can put Tree and Consuewella together.”

official obit