Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Robert P. Moses

I hope you read one of the many articles written about civil rights organizer Bob Moses, who died this week at age 86. I knew just a bit about him, most of it learned in the past 10 or 15 years. (I remember thinking "Robert Moses, the Power Broker?" when I first heard his name, whenever that was.)

He organized the organizers and trained the trainers. He helped start the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. He helped create the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and was one of the leaders holding out for full recognition when Walter Mondale sold them out at the 1964 convention, as ordered by Lyndon Johnson.

In 1965, he spoke at his first anti-war protest, seeing the connections between civil rights and war abroad. According to his New York Times obituary,

Not long afterward, he received a notice that his draft number had been called. Because he was five years past the age limit for the draft, he suspected it was the work of government agents.

He and his wife Janet left the country for Tanzania, where they remained for eight years.

Quite a way to treat a hero, America. 

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