As we rejoice and give praise to our black women who have fought for the rights of the black community and with the topic of reparations vastly being talked about again. I believe it is important during Women History Month to honor those black women who have been for the advancement of reparations with a series of articles about these powerful ladies. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start off this series with one of the most important women of the movement. “Audley Moore.”
Born in New Iberia, Louisiana, No one has dedicated their life more to integrating claims for reparations for African Americans than the Queen Mother herself “Audley Moore.” An activist for 70 years, she dedicated the majority of her career to fighting for reparations for blacks.
Audley was an avid follower of Marcus Garvey and a leading figure in the World War II Harlem Communist Party. Moore could relate to the struggles of self discrimination and was very instrumental in forming the reparations and Black Power movement in the 1960s.
Audley also purchased stocks in the Black Star Line, which was a shipping line incorporated by Marcus Garvey used to transport people and make visits to cities in Latin America in celebration of black self-determination, economic potential, and business ownership. This was Marcus Garvey’s largest and most significant business venture. She became one of the strongest voices in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA). Moore campaigned to establish a national monument in memory of Africans who died during the centuries in which slavery was legal in the United States.
The lessons that Moore took in from Garvey were the significance of Pan-Africanism, Black political self-determination, racial solidarity, and grassroots activism. Moore went on to establish the Universal Association of Ethiopian Women (UAEW), a grassroots Pan-Africanist organization, in 1957.
She helped with legal services, in addition to advocating social justice for incarcerated African American men and women. The UAEW organization became a vital platform for activists to promote Black nationalist ideals. Her drive and determination for blacks were monumental as she became the founder of The Republic of New Afrika to fight for self-determination, land, and reparations.
She also created The Committee for Reparations for Descendants of U.S. Slaves. Alongside Lorita Langley. Moore established the Eloise Moore Memorial College of African Culture on a farm they owned in the Catskill Mountains. The school would eventually be destroyed by a fire in the late 1970s. Audley was a founder of the African American Cultural Foundation, Inc. which led the fight against the usage of the slave term “Negro”, She was also at the forefront of campaigning to free Nelson Mandela from a South African prison and was present for his release.
The list goes on and on about how Audley Moore impacted the black community. She continued her activism until the day she passed. Moore died May 2, 1997, in a Brooklyn nursing home from natural causes at the age of 98.