From Marching To Mathematics, His Work Helped Black Students

Mathematics formula on a chalkboard
Via Pixabay
Leslie Taylor-Grover
August 10, 2021

Bob Moses held many titles in his life: student organizer, Civil Rights pioneer, and community leader. He organized Freedom Summer, and helped our people register to vote. Yet for all his community work, there was another, perhaps more important, love of his life.

Moses had a deep passion for teaching mathematics. He understood that math not only prepared Black children for college and high-paying job opportunities, but that it also helped them withstand an education system biased against them. 

But this love was often stretched to the limits in our racist education system.

One day, his college-bound daughter informed him that algebra wasn’t offered to the students at her school. His Civil Rights work taught him that students WANTED to learn and if we empowered them to do so, things could change! So he took action.

He started the Algebra Project in the 1980s, and taught the subject to kids the school system deemed unable to learn math. His goal was to endow every Black student in the nation with the chance to excel in Algebra – and it’s working.

Moses refused to allow white people to determine the futures of Black children by robbing them of mathematical skills. He took control of the education of Black children and never let up. We must remember when we control the education of our children, they thrive!

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