(Reuters)-Bob Moses was a civil rights leader. He participated in some of the most important Southern Equality Movements in the 1960s and later became an advocate for African-American success in mathematics. He died on Sunday at the age of 86 , Said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Moses was the latest African American leader of that era to die in the past year, including John Lewis, Vernon Jordan, CT Vivian, Charles Evers, and Gloria Richardson.
“He is a strategist at the core of the voting rights movement and other areas. He is a giant,” the chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Derek Johnson, wrote on Twitter.
According to the SNCC Digital Gateway website, Moses grew up in Harlem, New York. In 1960, he went to Mississippi to find people to attend the Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee (SNCC) meeting when he was teaching high school math in the city. Affiliated to Duke University and records the history of the organization.
Moses helped put the promotion of voter registration on the SNCC agenda and continued to participate in many front-line struggles in the South, which were often violently resisted.
When blacks still lacked equal rights under the law, his travels to the south made Moses realize that African Americans’ civil rights had been violated.
“I was taught that voting rights were taken away from behind the iron curtain in Europe; I never knew that voting rights were taken away from behind the curtain here in the United States,” Moses said.
According to the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute of Stanford University, his low-key style is in stark contrast to the charisma of leaders like Pastor Martin Luther King Jr., because Moses “avoided public propaganda and did not want to claim to be leader” .
But King himself praised Moses’ grassroots community leadership as an “inspiration,” the King Institute said.
The institute stated that Moses moved to Canada during the 1967 Vietnam War to avoid military conscription, and then lived in Tanzania for a few years.
He returned to the United States to complete his doctorate at Harvard University, where he received a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation, which he used to promote algebra projects to improve the mathematical skills of impoverished children.
Moses served as chairman of the algebra project until his death.
According to the New York Times, quoting his daughter Maisha Moses, he died at his home in Hollywood, Florida.
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