Queen Mother Audley E. Moore

In Honor Of A Warrior Woman


n December 6 and 7, 1991, the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University dedicated the entire third floor of the Center of Pan-African Culture to Queen Mother Audley E. Moore, a "Warrior Woman," born on July 27, 1898, who devoted her life to active struggle on behalf of all people of African descent. She was honored for having organized on many fronts, from the great influenza epidemic of 1918 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where she worked as a volunteer nurse, to the United Nations, where she presented petitions in the 1950s charging genocide and demanding reparations to descendants of former slaves. 

She was born as Audley to Ella and St. Cry Moore on July 27, 1898 in New Iberia, Louisiana. Her grandmother, Nora Henry, was born into slavery, the daughter of an African woman who was raped by her slave master who was a doctor. Her grandfather was lynched before his wife's eyes leaving Nora Henry with five orphaned children of whom Ella Johnson — mother of Queen Mother Moore — was the youngest. Ella died in 1904. 

Queen Mother Moore completed only the third grade of her formal education. Her struggles began at the tender age of twelve fighting the advances of white men in the South . . . Queen Mother has been struggling for seventy-seven years for the human and civil rights of all African people throughout the world which makes her our warrior queen and a living legend. At the grand old age of ninety-eight, she continues to make her home in Harlem.

Some of her efforts — to help our struggle to take us towards self-determination, acquisition of our inheritance in Africa and our just claim for reparations from the United States government — are documented below: 

  • The founder and president of the Universal Association of Ethiopian Women, she is a life member of both the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the National Moorish Council of Negro Women. She joined Marcus Mosiah Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) while living in Louisiana. She participated in Garvey's first international convention in New York City, owned stock in the Black Star Line, and came to New York when the UNIA launched the Black Star Line's first ship.
  • She is President-General, World Federation of African People, Inc. She is founder and president of the Universal Association of Ethiopian Women, Inc. which led a successful fight to restore 23,000 families to the welfare rolls after they had been ruthlessly cut off by Louisiana authorities. She is the founder of the Committee for Reparations for Descendants of U.S. Slaves. She is a founding member of the Republic of New Africa to fight for self-determination, land, and reparations. She is founder of Mt. Addis Ababa, Inc., envisioned as a facility to totally embrace the cultural, educational, and industrial needs of her people. Through Mr. Roscoe Bradley, her executive vice president, this organization, located at Mt. Addis Ababa, Box 244, Parksville, NY 12768, taught hundreds of children African music, dance, and culture.
  • She is Bishop of the Apostolic Orthodox Church of Judea. She is a founding member of the Commission to Eliminate Racism, Council of Churches of Greater New York. In organizing this commission, she staged a twenty-four-hour sit-in for three weeks. She is a founder of the African American Cultural Foundation, Inc., which led the fight against usage of the slave term "Negro."
  • She joined the Republican Party, found them racist, left and joined the Communist Party to fight the Scottsboro Boys' imprisonment. She led the fight to end Jim Crow in big league baseball. She organized the community with Captain Hugh Mulzac as chairman and the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. as co-chairman. Later realizing the fallacy in this, she apologized to her people. She resigned from the Communist Party in disillusionment after they changed their position on self-determination in the South's Black Belt.
  • She led protests against the Apollo Theatre for showing racist shows and led protests against the Alhambra Theatre for showing a white man as Hannibal. She helped organize CIO unions and the Work Progress Administration. She forced the WPA to employ black women on sewing projects who were previously relegated to domestic work. She also tried to organize a domestic workers union. She was arrested three times during her struggle-first for defending the rights of our children to use the public Colonial Park pool without bringing along their birth certificates; another time for defending a peddler from arrest for selling tomatoes to support his seven little children; the third time for trying to register people to vote in Green County, New York.
  • She led the fight with Assemblyman William Andrews, the Reverend Ethelring Brown, and Ludlow Werner to get a congressional district in Harlem in the 1930s. She helped to organize the Maritime Union under Ferdinand Smith. She also led the fight to break Jim Crow policy in the Coast Guard and became the first black stewardess to be hired. She helped stranded seamen in London and held a mass meeting in 1946 in a hotel lobby in London for the management's refusal of accommodations due to racism. She campaigned for medical aid and funds for Ethiopia after the Italians attacked. She organized 500 nurses to sterilize sheets which were collected from laundries for bandages for the wounded Ethiopian soldiers.
  • She investigated the condition of our little girls, ages twelve to fourteen, who gave birth while in a mental institution in Louisiana. The girls had been raped by their white male attendants. She was encouraged by Dr. A.L. Reddick and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, both of whom were eminent educators, to take to public speaking in defense of her people's liberty. Before this she only spoke at street meetings from a box or a ladder on the corner of 125th Street and 7th Avenue. She organized the first rent strike on Sugar Hill in 1930 and restored tenants to their apartments after having been evicted. She supported the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya and took a delegation to the British Embassy to protest the ultimatum given to the Mau Mau to surrender or be annihilated.
  • She fought to save from execution the Martinville Seven and helped to organize street meetings and demonstrations. She helped to free Mae Mallory imprisoned for defending herself from an attack of the KKK in Monroe, North Carolina. She presented a petition to the United Nations in 1957 for self-determination and against genocide. She presented a second petition in 1959 to the United Nations for land and reparations. She toured throughout the country by car in 1962 begging gas from gas station to gas station to alarm our people to prepare for our Emancipation Proclamation Centennial by presenting a judicial document for reparations and self-determination proclaiming us a non-self-governing nation.
  • She organized a soup kitchen in Harlem for African students after learning two students had died from malnutrition after they received their Ph.D. She also helped to organize Africa House in New York City with Mrs. Mattie Hunter for African students. She participated in the North American Regional Planning Conference (held at Kent State University in 1973) leading up to the Sixth Pan-African Congress. In 1974, she attended this international Congress in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. This Congress was the first ever international meeting of African people held on the soil of Mother Africa. She, at the request of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, became a life member of the National Council of Negro Women. She is the founder and president of the Harriet Tubman Association. She helped to organize the Unemployed Councils when millions were on the brink of starvation. She presented a demand for reparations to President Kennedy which caused him to say: "Ask not what this country can do for you, but what you can do for it."
As mentioned earlier, the above represents only "some" of the activities in which Queen Mother Moore has been involved for the past seventy or more years. We are, therefore, very much honored to have her in our presence and to take time out to honor this great African Warrior Woman. 

Unfortunately, Queen Mother Audley E. Moore, a life-long "Warrior Woman," died on May 2, 1997, at the age of 99. We will miss her. May she rest in eternal peace.

SOURCE: This "Biographical Data" was prepared by the Honorable Dr. Deloise Naewoaang Blakely, Deputy Mayor of Harlem, New York, 1993.


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