Black History Hero: John Africa

John Africa, who was born Vincent Leaphart, adopted the surname of Africa in reference to the place he believed all life originated. All MOVE members adopted the Africa surname, wore their hair in natural dreadlocks, and eschewed modern conveniences, drugs, alcohol and any chemicals, including birth control. Although nearly illiterate, John Africa, with social worker Donald Glassey transcribing, self published a 300 page document titled The Guidelines, which became a touchstone for MOVE members. He preached reliance on the self, a deep respect for every living being, natural law, natural living practices and vigorous health through exercise and raw foods.




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