Robert Parris Moses was a civil rights activist who endured beatings and imprisonment while leading a black voter registration campaign in the southern United States in the 1960s. He later helped improve mathematics education for minorities and has now died . He is 86 years old.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Moses worked as the Mississippi Field Director of the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee to eliminate apartheid, and was the core of the “Summer of Freedom” in 1964, where hundreds of students went to the South to register as voters.
Because of the MacArthur Scholarship, he founded the Algebra Project in 1982 and started his “Chapter Two of Civil Rights Work”. The project includes courses developed by Moses to help poor students succeed in math.
Ben Moynihan, Director of Algebra Project Operations, said he had spoken to Dr. Janet Moses, Moses’ wife, who said that her husband died in Hollywood, Florida on Sunday morning. No information was provided about the cause of death.
Moses was born in Harlem, New York City on January 23, 1935. Two months ago, a race riot killed 3 people and injured 60 people in the nearby area. His grandfather, William Henry Moses, was an outstanding Southern Baptist missionary and a supporter of Marcus Garvey, the leader of black nationalism at the turn of the century.
“When people asked what to do, he asked them what they thought. In meetings, he usually sits behind and speaks last. He sleeps on the floor, wears overalls, shares risks, accepts blows, and digs deeper.”- Tom Hayden talks about Bob Moses, he has gone home and loves us so much. pic.twitter.com/xOYioFKHmO
But like many black families, the Moses family moved from south to north during the Great Migration. According to reports, in Harlem, his family sold milk from a black-owned cooperative to help supplement family income. Robert Paris Moses: Civil Rights Life and Grassroots Leadership, Laura Visser-Maessen.
During his studies at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, he became a Rhodes scholar and was deeply influenced by the writings of French philosopher Albert Camus and his thoughts on the rationality and moral purity of social change. Before earning a master’s degree in philosophy from Harvard University, Moses participated in a Quaker-sponsored European tour and strengthened his belief that change is bottom-up.
It wasn’t until 1960 that Moses took part in a recruiting trip and “saw the movement with his own eyes” that he stayed in the Shennan region for a long time. He found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, but found that there was almost no activity in the office, and soon turned his attention to the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC).
“I was taught to take away voting rights behind the Iron Curtain in Europe,” Moses said later. “I never knew there was [the] Deny the right to vote behind the scenes of cotton here in the United States. “
The young civil rights advocate tried to register black votes in rural Amite County, Mississippi, where he was beaten and arrested. When he tried to charge a white assailant, an all-white jury acquitted the man, and a judge provided protection for Moses so that he could leave.
We have lost one of the bravest organizers of our time. As the site organizer of the SNCC, Bob Moses is the architect of the Mississippi Liberal Project, the Mississippi Liberal Democratic Party, and the Algebra Project.
Rest, Bob Moses pic.twitter.com/tnUQ1fKXLO
Moses later helped organize the Mississippi Liberal Democratic Party, which tried to challenge the all-white Democratic delegation from Mississippi. But then President Lyndon Johnson prevented this group of rebellious Democrats from voting in the convention, and instead allowed Jim Crow Southerners to stay and attract national attention.
Disappointed by the white liberals’ response to the civil rights movement, Moses soon began to participate in demonstrations against the Vietnam War, and then severed all ties with the whites, even former SNCC members.
Moses worked as a teacher in Tanzania, returned to Harvard University to obtain a Ph.D., and taught high school mathematics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
My dearest brother Bob Moses-spiritual genius, intellectual giant and moral giant-has left us! Insufficient words! He is greater than life and one of the great models of our humanity! Let us never forget him!
In his later years, Moses, who asked not to be named, began his “Second Chapter of Civil Rights Work” by creating the Algebra Project in 1982.
Historian Taylor Branch Watershed The Pulitzer Prize winner said that Moses’ leadership embodies a paradox.
“In addition to arousing the same adoration among young people as Martin Luther King did in adults,” Blanche said, “Moses represents an independent concept of leadership.” It originated from “ordinary people.” “And inherited by “ordinary people.”