Creation Of The Negro
Extracts from: The
name "negro" its origin and evil use: Richard B. Moore
The name that you respond
to determines the amount of your self worth. Similarly, the way a group
of people collectively respond to a name can have devastating effects
on their lives, particularly if they did not choose the name.
Asians come from Asia and
have pride in the Asian race' Europeans come from Europe and have pride
in Europe accomplishments. Negroes, I am to assume, come from negroland-a
mythical country with an uncertain past and an even more uncertain future.
Since negroland is a myth, where did the myth of the negro originate?
The key to understanding what a negro is, is to understand the definition
of that word and its origin.
The word negro is Spanish for black. The Spanish language comes from
Latin, which has its origins in Classical Greek. The word negro, in
Greek, is derived from the root word necro, meaning dead. What was once
referred to as a physical condition is now regarded as an appropriate
state of mind for millions of Africans.
Historically when the Greeks
first traveled to Africa 2,500 years ago, the Egyptian civilization was
already ancient. The Great Pyramid was over 3,000 years old and the
sphinx was even older. Writing, science, medicine and religion were
already a part of the civilization and had reached their zenith. The
Greeks came to Africa as students to sit at the feet of the masters, and
to discover what Africans already knew. In any student / teacher
relationship the teacher can only teach as much as the student is
capable of understanding.
Egyptians, like other Africans,
understood that life existed beyond the grave. Ancestral worship is a
way of acknowledging the lives of the people who have come before you,
and their ability to offer guidance and direction to the living. Temples
were designed as places where the ancestors could be honored and
holidays (Holy Days) where the ancestors could be honored, and holidays
(Holy Days) were the days designated to do so.
The Egyptians had hundreds of temples
and hundreds of Holy Days to worship their ancestors. The Greeks thought
the Africans had a preoccupation with death. The act of ancestral worship
became known as necromancy or communication with the dead. The root
word necro means dead. Another word for necromancy is magic - that Old
Black Magic which was practiced in Ancient Africa. When the Greeks returned
to Europe, they took their distorted beliefs with them and the word
negro evolved out of this great misunderstanding.
Less than 300 years after the first Greeks came to Egypt as students,
their descendants returned as conquerors. They destroyed the cities,
temples and libraries of the Egyptians and claimed African knowledge
as their own.
Not only was the African legacy stolen, but also the wholesale theft
of African people soon followed. With the birth of the slave trade,
it became necessary to dehumanize Africans and devalue their historical
worth as a people in order to ensure their value as slaves.
So there you have it, the
negro - a race of dead people with a dead history and no hope for resurrection
as long as they remained ignorant of their past. This was a triple death
- the death of the mind, body, and spirit of the African people.
It was strictly forbidden for negro slaves to learn to read and write.
Such knowledge was the key to liberation and was placed firmly out of
reach. As negroes became educated, however, they sought to redefine
The evolution of the word negro from colored, to black, to African represents
a progression of self-awareness. As a free people, we have a responsibility
to educate ourselves and rediscover our Identities. Knowledge of self
is the key to unlocking the door to the future.
Richard B. Moore Biography
in Barbados in 1893, Richard B. Moore was a civil rights advocate, a
communist organizer and a champion of Caribbean and African
self-determination who migrated to New York City in 1909 and played an
influential role in Harlem independent politics and social life for
more than fifty years. His involvement began as early as 1915 with
various self-improvement and cooperative efforts, including the Harlem
Pioneer Cooperative Society and the Associated Colored Employees of
America, a job opportunity organization. In 1919, he joined the African
Blood Brotherhood, a secret organization of some 3,000 black members
nationally which emphasized self-defense, race pride and
self-determination for black people, including in the United States. He
quickly established himself as one of Harlem's great soapbox orators
and a strong community organizer.
Moore, Cyril Briggs, founder
of the African Blood Brotherhood, and fellow member Grace Campbell were
among the first blacks to join the Communist Party (CP) in the early
1920s. They came to the Party mainly because of the Comintern's (Third
Communist International) strong commitment to racial and national
movements against imperialism, and with the hope of transforming the
mainly white CP into a fighting force against segregation. Moore became
the editor of The Negro Champion, the organ of the American Negro Labor
Congress, a CP front for labor and progressive black organizations. He
also helped organize the Harlem Educational Forum, along with Hubert
Harrison, W.A. Domingo and Rev. Ethelred Brown.
In 1928, Moore
and Campbell launched the Harlem Tenants League which organized
building committees throughout Harlem and held regular demonstrations
at the Board of Aldermen demanding lower rents and better living
conditions. That same year, the sixth congress of the Comintern adopted
a resolution instructing the U.S. CP to "consider the struggle on
behalf of the Negro masses ... as one of its major tasks." The League
became the Party's chief organizing tool and its greatest recruiting
source among blacks. Rent strikes were organized in more than twenty
buildings. Street rallies held by the Harlem District attracted
hundreds and often, thousands of sympathizers, in spite of severe
police repression and arrests.
Moore had been appointed New England organizer in 1935 for the
Richard B. Moore Papers
Labor Defense (ILD), another party organization. He later gained
national prominence as a leading ILD spokesman on behalf of the nine
young black men, known as the Scottboro Boys, who were falsely charged
with raping two white women. In the early 1930s, he spearheaded black
communist efforts to gain employment for blacks on the bus lines
operating in Harlem and on the 125th Street commercial strip.
with the rise of fascism in Europe and the Comintern's adoption of a
united front policy toward the United States and the main European
colonial powers, the CP downgraded its support work on behalf of
anti-imperialist and anti-discrimination struggles. Moore was
subsequently criticized for "petty-bourgeois nationalism," presumably
for his persistance in keeping black issues on the front burner, and
was removed from the League of Struggle for Negro Rights which he had
helped launch in 1930. He was expelled from the Party in 1939.
outstanding pan-Africanist intellectual, Moore addressed international
congresses on Africa in the 1920s, drafted resolutions calling for an
end to colonial rule on that continent, and helped organize mass
protests and relief efforts after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in
1935. He also played a leading role in several Caribbean advocacy
groups and launched the West Indies Defense Committee in 1937, in
support of striking workers throughout the British Caribbean. At the
founding conference of the United Nations in 1945, Moore campaigned on
behalf of the West Indies National Council and the Provisional Council
of Dominated Nations for the complete freedom of subjugated peoples in
Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. An advocate of federation and
independence for the British Caribbean territories, he was the author
of various appeals and statements on those subjects, and was the
principal organizer of several Caribbean-American organizations in the
1950s and 1960s, including the American Committee for West Indian
Federation and the United Caribbean American Council.
self-educated Moore had a life-long commitment to African history and
studied at various times under the historian, William Leo Hansberrry,
and anthropologist Louis Leakey. In partnership with Angelo Herndon, he
launched Pathway Press in 1940, which published a memorial edition of
The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. He lectured broadly on
African and Afro-American history and politics, and developed
curriculum outlines for the New York City Board of Education's
in-service teachers training program and for local school boards in
Uniondale, Rockland County and Long Island. A passionate bibliophile,
he developed a library, now housed in Barbados, of some 15,000 books
and published sources on the black experience worldwide.
Richard B. Moore Papers
was also the founder of the nationalist Afro-American Institute and ran
a bookstore, the Frederick Douglass Book Center, in Harlem for over
thirty years. His best known publications are The Name Negro, Its
Origin and Evil Use (1960) and Caribs, Cannibals and Human Relations
(1972). His articles and essays were published in The Emancipator,
Daily Worker, The Negro Champion, New York Amsterdam News, Freedomways,
Negro Digest and several Caribbean publications. Richard B. Moore died
in Barbados in 1978.