Robert Parris Moses, a pioneer in civil rights and voting rights, has died. According to his wife, Dr. Janet Moses, the educator and activist died in Hollywood, Florida on Sunday morning (July 25). He was 86 years old when he died.
Moses, often known as Bob, was best known for his work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which he joined in 1960 as the Mississippi field director. Moses started the “Freedom Summer” project in 1964, bringing together hundreds of volunteers with the purpose of registering as many Black voters as possible in Mississippi to combat voter suppression and Jim Crow.
Moses was attacked and arrested while attempting to register Black voters in rural Amite County, Mississippi. He charged his assailant with assault, but the man was acquitted by an all-white jury. Moses and two other activists were shot at in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1963.
Moses was also a driving force behind the founding of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which aimed to challenge the state’s all-white Democratic delegation.
In 1982, he founded the Algebra Project to enhance math literacy among marginalized groups, which he dubbed his “second chapter in civil rights work.” Moses also taught math in Massachusetts and Mississippi and served as a teacher in Tanzania, Africa.
“Bob Moses was one of my heroes. Former President Barack Obama reacted to Moses’ death on Twitter, saying, “His calm confidence helped define the civil rights movement, and he inspired generations of young people looking to make a difference.” “Janet and the rest of the Moses family are in our thoughts and prayers,” Michelle says.
“The world has lost a giant today. New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman remarked, “Bob Moses blazed the road for teacher-activists to follow.” “He demonstrated that democracy begins with caring and connecting with the marginalized — and that they have the ability to govern themselves. I hope we will continue to follow in his footsteps.”
Indeed an Iroko tree has fallen. He will be missed.