"Queen Mother" Moore
Those who seek temporary security rather than basic liberty deserve neither...
My bones are tired. Not tired of struggling, but tired of oppression.
Our purpose in life is to leave a legacy for our children and our children's children. For this reason, we must correct history that at present denies our humanity and self-respect.
–Queen Mother Moore
Queen Mother Moore was born Audley Moore in New Iberia, Louisiana, and acquired the appellation Queen Mother on her first trip to Ghana, where she attended the funeral of Kwame Nkrumah in 1972. She was in the forefront of the struggle for 77 years.
Her family was scarred by virulent racism. Her great-grandmother was raped by her slave master and her grandfather was lynched. Forced to quit school in the fourth grade, she studied to be a hairdresser to take care of her sisters. In the 1920's, she traveled around the country only to learn that racism was not confined to the South. She finally settled in Harlem where she organized, mobilized and demonstrated against racist oppression and imperialism directed towards Africa and people of African descent. She was locked into perpetual struggle against black oppression at all levels, joining numerous groups and founding a number of her own.
Initially inspired by Marcus Garvey's emphasis on African pride and culture, she waged battle on the Black Nationalist, Communist and Pan-Africanist fronts. In keeping with her credo, "There was nothing left to do but struggle," her list of activities defy enumeration.
Impressed by the Communist Party's role as the vanguard in the defense of the Scottsboro Boys, she joined the party. However, she left when she realized that the party could or would not translate its ideas about black self-determination into action.
In 1955, she joined a small band of activists demanding reparations for slavery and its insidious legacy which has permeated black lives up to this day. During Black History Month 2002, on February 6, the Queen Mother Moore Reparations Resolution for Descendants of Enslaved Africans in New York City bill was submitted to the City Council.
Spanning an era from the heyday of Marcus Garvey to the second coming of Nelson Mandela, our Warrior Queen waged war on the hydra of black oppression whenever it raised an ugly head. It can definitely be said, in deference to Mandela, that the struggle was truly her life.
Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, Darlene Hine, Elsa Barkley Brown and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn (eds.), Indiana University Press, 1994.
The Black Scholar (interview), Issue 4, March-April, 1973.
Book of Black Heroes: Great Women in the Struggle, Toyomi Igus (ed.), Just Us Books, 1991.
I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America, Brian Lanker. Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 1989.
Queen Mother Audley E. Moore: In Honor of a Warrior Woman
History Matters: "Speak, Garvey, Speak!" A Follower Recalls A Garvey Rally
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