Daniel A. Moore, Founder of an African American Museum, Dies at 88

Daniel A. Moore Sr., who created a pioneering African American history museum in Atlanta when such initiatives were rare, died on March 4 in Decatur, Ga. He was 88.

His death, in a hospital, was confirmed by his son Dan Moore Jr.

Mr. Moore started his eclectic collection of artifacts in 1978 and in 1984 moved it to a handsome 1910 brick building on Auburn Avenue, known as “Sweet Auburn” for its centrality to African American history. The building, which had been a schoolbook depository and a tire warehouse, was “erected brick by brick by African American masons,” the museum says.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Auburn, in an old wood-frame house, and the avenue is home to the King Center, which was founded in 1968 and is dedicated to his life and thought.

Mr. Moore took a longer view, though memories of the civil rights movement were still fresh when he was getting started, with help from a handful of well-off patrons and from Fulton County, which donated the land. Unlike the King Center, his focus was on the whole African American experience, from Africa to the Middle Passage, and from enslavement to the civil rights campaign and beyond.

The museum’s name, APEX, an acronym for the African American Panoramic Experience, reflected Mr. Moore’s ambition to “make sure they see the other side of us — they see that there is a genius in us,” as he put it in 2004 in an interview for The History Makers, a digital archive of interviews with significant Black Americans.

Mr. Moore, in dark suit at center, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in 1984 marking his APEX Museum’s move to a renovated building on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. Holding the ceremonial scissors was Kathleen Redding Adams (1890-1993), a schoolteacher who lived on Auburn and who survived a 1906 riot in Atlanta in which white mobs killed dozens of Black residents.Credit…APEX Museum

Related Articles

Back to top button