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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Queen Mother Moore

Queen Mother Moore (July 27, 1898 - May 2, 1996) was an African-American civil rights leader and a black nationalist who was friends with such civil rights leaders as Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela and Jesse Jackson. She was an important figure in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and a founder of the Republic of New Afrika.

She was born Audley Moore in New Iberia, Louisiana, where both her parents died before she completed the fourth grade. Moore became a hairdresser at age 15.

A few years later, she became part of the Civil Rights Movement after viewing a speech by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican native known as the "Black Moses", who founded a back-to-Africa movement, which included the Black Star Line. Inspired by Garvey's views on African culture and pride, she moved to Harlem, New York, and became a leader of his Universal Negro Improvement Association. Garvey's movement collapsed two years later after his conviction and deportation for mail fraud.

After Garvey's deportation, Moore became a leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement, working for a variety of causes over a public life lasting more than 60 years. She made her last public appearance at the Million Man March alongside Jesse Jackson during October 1995.

Taking the first of many trips to Africa in 1972, she was given the honorary title "Queen Mother" of an Ashanti tribe in Ghana, which became her informal name in the United States.

She attended the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in South Africa, according to her family.

Queen Mother Moore died in a Brooklyn nursing home from natural causes at age 97.

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Booker T. Washington said:

"There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs....There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

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