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Moore, Mary, 1948-

Biography:

Mary Ann Moore was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1948 and was an active participant in both the civil rights movement and the labor rights movement throughout the second half of the twentieth century. In the early 1960s, Moore became a high school student at Carver High School in Birmingham. Moore recalls that her parents' generation was somewhat reluctant to become too involved in movement activism because they feared negative ramifications at their jobs. Young people like Moore, however, became quite actively involved with the support of their parents. Moore recalls in particular how Martin Luther King, Jr. called Young people to action during a speech at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Shortly thereafter, Moore and her peers participated regularly in civil rights marches, facing arrest and violent intimation from Mayor Bull Connor. Moore's father, an employee of the Birmingham Tank Company, saw labor organization as the only avenue for improving conditions and opportunities for African American workers. After completing her bachelor's degree at the Tuskeegee Institute, Moore was recruited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to earn her certification as a medical technologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham before accepting a position at the VA Hospital in 1971. Moore worked as a laboratory technician at the VA Hospital for thirty years. As an active member of the union, and later its executive vice president, Moore campaigned for more equitable working conditions for African Americans, often appealing to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Following her retirement from the hospital, Moore became a community politician, eventually seeking election to the state legislature.--From Oral Histories of the American South biography.

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