Queen Mother Moore (1898-1997): A Legacy of Revolutionary Resistance

Queen Mother Moore with Robert and Mabel Williams and the RNA, Dec. 1979 in Detroit

One leading figure in the 20th century movement for African liberation in the United States and around the world is Audley Eloise Moore, widely known as Queen Mother Moore. Her efforts spanned the era of Jim Crow in the South where she was born in New Iberia, Louisiana on July 27, 1898, to the Garvey Movement of the 1920s and the Communist Left of the 1930s and 1940s.

Queen Mother Moore remained a symbol of resistance through the turbulent years of the 1950s through the 1970s, where she was a stalwart at numerous mass meetings, conferences and demonstrations across the U.S. and the world. Even into her later years of the 1990s she attended significant conferences related to the demand for reparations reminding a younger generation of activists and organizers that the struggle for national liberation extends back for decades.

Fighting Jim Crow in the Struggle for Self-Determination

Queen Mother Moore early on in life faced the challenges of Jim Crow segregation, national oppression and lynching. Her parents died while she was very young propelling her into starting her own cosmetology business at the age of 15. One of her grandfathers was lynched by white men for violating the codes of Jim Crow segregation.

She would later hear the propaganda of the Jamaican-born African nationalist leader Marcus Garvey, who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1914. Garvey would travel to the U.S. in 1916 seeking to learn from the establishment of Tuskegee…


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