Robert Parris Moses widely recognized as Bob Moses passed away at the age of 86 on Sunday (July 25.) According to NBC News, the civil rights activist’s death was confirmed by his wife Dr. Janet Moses to Ben Moynihan, the director of operations for The Algebra Project. The organization, aimed at helping low-income students and students of color achieve necessary mathematical skills, was founded by Moses in 1982. A statement was released by the Algebra Project, Inc., Board of Directors, and Staff on Moses’ passing. It reads as follows:
“It is with sadness, our deepest condolences, appreciation and meditations that the Algebra Project, Inc., shares the news of the passing of our founder, mentor, President, teacher and friend, Robert Parris Moses. His transition to that higher level only inspires us all to love, struggle and live with and for our people as he did, as we continue to work to realize Bob’s vision of ‘raising the floor of mathematics literacy’ for all young people in the United States of America.”
The statement continued, “Bob, you will always be with us, and you already know we absolutely will Keep on Pushing!”
Moses was born in Harlem, N.Y. in 1935 and earned his B.A. from Hamilton College and an M.A. in philosophy from Harvard University. In the 1960s he became the field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and directed the Mississippi Project in 1961. He also initiated the Freedom Summer, also called the Mississippi Summer Project in 1964 in an attempt to register Black people in Mississippi as voters.
His work continued to include helping organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, The Algebra Project, community activism, and more. Moses is survived by his wife, Dr. Janet Jemmott Moses; children Maisha Moses, Omo Moses, Taba Moses, Malaika Moses, and daughter-in-love Saba Moses; and grandchildren Zuri Sueksagan Moses, Parris Sueksagan Moses, Krishna Moses Mitchell, Johari Moses, Kamara Moses, Yohana Kahassai Moses, and Yara Kahassai Moses.
Public figures ranging from former President Barack Obama to scholar and activist Cornel West issued condolences to Moses on social media.
“My dearest brother Bob Moses – spiritual genius, intellectual giant, and moral titan,” tweeted West. “Words fall short! He was larger than life and one of the great exemplars of our humanity! Let us never forget him!”
My dearest brother Bob Moses – spiritual genius, intellectual giant and moral titan – has left us! Words fall short! He was larger than life and one of the great exemplars of our humanity! Let us never forget him!
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) July 25, 2021
Obama shared, “Bob Moses was a hero of mine. His quiet confidence helped shape the civil rights movement, and he inspired generations of young people looking to make a difference.”
Bob Moses was a hero of mine. His quiet confidence helped shape the civil rights movement, and he inspired generations of young people looking to make a difference. Michelle and I send our prayers to Janet and the rest of the Moses family.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 26, 2021
"When people asked what to do, he asked them what they thought. At meetings, he usually sat in the back and spoke last. He slept on floors, wore overalls, shared the risks, took the blows, he dug in deeply." – Tom Hayden on Bob Moses, who has journeyed home and who loved us so. pic.twitter.com/xOYioFKHmO
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 25, 2021
America owes a great debt to this hero. Bob Moses was an American iconic civil rights activist, known for his work as a leader of SNCC, voter education and registration in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. He’s an ancestor now and demands we fight to protect our vote. pic.twitter.com/ukKniF1cwx
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) July 25, 2021
Throughout his life, Bob Moses bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice. He was a strategist at the core of the voting rights movement and beyond.
He was a giant.
May his light continue to guide us as we face another wave of Jim Crow laws.
Rest in Power, Bob.
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) July 25, 2021
#BobMoses has died. What a brilliant, conscious, compassionately active human being. Educator. Organizer. Leader. Rest well, sir.
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center (@TheKingCenter) July 25, 2021