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Creation Of The Negro

Compiled by Ayinde
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 themselves.

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
Born 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

International 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.
But 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.

An 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.
The 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

Moore 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.