“No one has done more to integrate claims for reparations for African Americans into Black activism than “Queen Mother” Audley Moore. An activist for 70 years, she dedicated the majority of her career to fighting for reparations.” Black Perspectives https://www.aaihs.org/audley-moore-and-the-modern-reparations-movement/#
When we think about reparations for African-Americans for the generations of enslavement, socio-economic and political apartheid and oppression many people don’t know that for decades the prime supporter of the idea of reparations was Audley “Queen Mother” Moore. Queen Mother Moore was an activist who carried the torch for reparations and human rights and was the most prominent force in the movement until the time of her transition on May 2, 1997.
Audley Moore was born on July 27, 1898 in New Iberia Louisiana. Her parents died when she was in elementary school and she dropped out of school to help support her two younger siblings as a hairdresser. She moved to New Orleans to find work and experienced the deep seated racism and oppression of that era. While living in New Orleans she was exposed to the idea of reparations or compensation for enslaved persons from Callie House who was an activist, organizer and founder of the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association, which called for a pension for living African-Americans who had been enslaved.
She heard a live message by Marcus Moshiah Garvey in New Orleans and was greatly impressed. In 1920 she and her sisters left Louisiana and moved to Harlem New York City. Once she relocated to Harlem she became active in Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and helped organize UNIA conventions and meetings in New York. Audley Moore was a staunch supporter of self-determination, freedom and Pan-Africanism. She was relentless and a tireless organizer and advocate for justice.
“As a Garveyite, Moore learned how to incorporate demands for repayment into her activism, including Garvey’s approach of demanding that colonial powers “hand back” the land, riches, and culture that they had stolen from African people. Inspired by leaders like Garvey, Moore looked for opportunities to organize her community when she migrated to Harlem in the early 1920s. When the UNIA dissipated, she joined the Communist Party and furthered her analysis of race, class, gender, and reparations.
The Party connected Moore with other organizations that advocated for government intervention and, at times, restitution. In the 1950s, she was a member of the Sojourners for Truth and Justice, and participated in the group’s appeals for government intervention and restitution for women such as Rosa Lee Ingram, a Black woman accused of killing her white male attacker. Moore was also a member of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC). In 1951, CRC Chairman William Patterson submitted a petition to the United Nations called “We Charge Genocide,” which detailed the litany of human rights abuses Black Americans endured and that demanded international intervention.” Audley Moore and the Modern Reparations Movement by Ashley Farmer https://www.aaihs.org/audley-moore-and-the-modern-reparations-movement
Audley Moore was a prominent organizer and founder of the Universal Association of Ethiopian Women and was a key figure in the development of the Republic of New Africa which pushed for a separate nation for people of African descent here in the US. She traveled extensively across the country and internationally promoting redress and justice for crimes against African people. In 1972 while in Ghana to attend the funeral of President Kwame Nkrumah the Ashanti’s bestowed upon her the honorific title Queen Mother.
Queen Mother Moore continued her activism, teaching and organizing well into her 90’s. Her last public appearance was at the Million Man March in 1995. Audley Moore married Frank Warner and they had one son. Queen Mother Moore was an icon in the reparations movement for over sixty years. To see just how awesome Queen Mother Moore was go to: https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/moore-audley-1898-1997, https://www.ontheshoulders1.com/the-giants/queen-mother-moore
“For most of the 1950s and 1960s, Moore was the best-known advocate of African-American reparations. In 1957, Moore presented a petition to the United Nations and a second in 1959, arguing for self-determination, against genocide, for land and reparations, making her an international advocate. Interviewed by E. Menelik Pinto, Moore explained the petition, in which she asked for 200 billion dollars to monetarily compensate for 400 years of slavery. The petition also called for compensations to be given to African Americans who wish to return to Africa and those who wish to remain in America.
In Southern California, Moore founded the Reparations Committee for the Descendants of American Slaves. As the leader of the Reparations Committee, she published an extensive analysis of reparations: Why Reparations? Reparations Is the Battle Cry for the Economic and Social Freedom of More than 25 Million Descendants of American Slaves.” Queen Mother Moore 20th Century Woman Warrior by Meserette Kentake https://kentakepage.com/queen-mother-moore-20th-century-woman-warrior/
Queen Mother Moore was a dedicated activist and a shining example of African Womanhood. Queen Mother Moore made her transition on May 2, 1997 at the age of 98. Today Audley “Queen Mother” Moore is a venerated ancestor.
Queen Mother Moore
Junious Ricardo Stanton