Montford Marine, civil rights activist James Moore dies

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HAMPTON, S.C. – James A. Moore died last week just days after receiving the Congressional Gold Medal for being one of the first black men to serve in the Marine Corps. He died July 3, at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta.

Moore, 82, was among several black servicemen known as the Montford Point Marines who attended the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremonies June 27 in Washington.

After the award presentation, the Montford Point Marines enjoyed a parade at the U.S. Marine Barracks in Washington.

Moore left Hampton to join the Marine Corps at Montford Point Camp, N.C. He served seven years. Upon returning home, he continued his service in the Marine Corps Reserves, returning to active duty during the Korean War.

Once again, Moore returned to Hampton County and became active in civil rights. His first effort was in the employment of black women at the Westinghouse Micarta Division in Hampton.

He then became the first president of the newly chartered Hampton County Chapter of the NAACP.

To improve voter registration in Hampton County, Moore, under the guidance of the late Rev. I. DeQuincy Newman, field director of the state NAACP, got students from Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College to assist with the drive.

He organized and founded the Hampton County Committee for the Betterment of Poor People, a non-profit organization that addressed the many needs of the black community.

Among its many services – food buying club, educational tutorial services, rural transportation, scholarship and cultural enrichment program – the child care program had the greatest impact on the community. It reached an average of 200 homes per year through direct child-care services, nutritional educational workshops, family recreational trips, free income tax return services and job training.


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