A Missed Opportunity

 January 5, 2014
Have you ever had one of those situations where days or even minutes after a conversation or event, you wish you had said something or handled something differently? Well, this past Christmas I missed one of those so called “teachable moments” as they have become known since Obama has been in office.

As a Grandparent, I am always struggling to decide what meaningful gift to give my Grandchildren for the holiday. Toys are out because they become boring in days. My youngest son had more fun with the boxes the toys came in than the toys themselves. With more gadgets today, I am sure it would be the same with my Grandsons. Clothes are out because they grow out of them so fast.

Well, days before Christmas it was suggested to me to give them a T Shirt of their Great Grand Father. Now, you may ask, why would I want to give them that kind of gift. This is why.
My Father, their Great Grand Father was a Montford Point Marine. He was a part of the group of first Black Marines is US history. They served during World War II and he passed away in August of 2013. Earlier in the year, he and his fellow Montford Point Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their bravery and for the fact that they took a tremendous amount of abuse and their fellow White soldiers. Despite the mistreatment, they still did their jobs and they did it with honor. Here is the T shirt I had made:

Now, My Grandson is a Moore just like his Father and my Grandson’s kids, if he has any will have the same last name. Whereas they will have the last name Moore, if they do what my son did, that is, have children with someone who is White, they won’t look like we do today. That child will not likely look African American at all. So in just 2 generations, my sons part of the family tree will change from Black to White. I am sure my son has thought about that and he has no problem with it. How I feel, well, I think most people will say it is none or my business. Here is my thinking on that.
First, yes, I am vain and I was hoping my Grandkids would look something like me. That ain’t happening. Second, the name Moor is one of the oldest and most pervasive names on the planet. You may say that Moore, which is how my family spells our name, is not Moor. This is true but Moore is what is called a corruption of the original work Moor. Many people know that the Moors were the North African that conquered and brought education to Spain. What many don’t know is that these conquerors were Black African Muslims.
They spread their seed, genetic seed that is, not only through Spain but France, Italy and part of what would become Germany. As a matter of fact, they were so pervasive that at one point, all Africans were called Moors

That is why there are so many variations of the name Moor. In France it is Morant, Maurice. In Italy it can be Mora, Or Bommorito (We used to buy cheese and pepperoni for our pizzeria from a distributor by that name). In Germany it is Muir. How many states in the US and Countries in South America have cities or towns named Matamoras. In Spanish, that means “Kill the Moors”. That became the battle cry of Spain for centuries until they finally drove the Moors out.

So, I want my progeny to know who they are and from whom they came, even as they fade to White and become part of the global minority and look nothing like me or their Great Granddad.
Also, in this age of super heroes, I want them to know that they are descended from a real hero. I missed an opportunity when I gave them the shirts on Christmas to take a few minutes to tell them who Daniel Clifford Moore was.

Timothy Moore