By CAW Editorial Staff
Prominent Guyanese Attorney, Colin A. Moore, died of natural causes at 80-years-old on January 9, 2022. Moore will be remembered as “a Renaissance Scholar who has had a distinguished career in many areas of public service, as Adjunct Professor of Law, Congressional Aide, Attorney-at-Law, Public Speaker, Journalist, Political Analyst, Community Activist, and Cultural Innovator.” Friends and supporters of Colin A. Moore took to social media to express regret over his passing and offer condolences to his family. They also shared memories and paid tribute to Moore, who Suzanne Matthews remembered as a “servant leader.”
Colin A. Moore, who was born in Berbice, Guyana, on April 24, 1941, is remembered as a proud Guyanese who eagerly supported other members of the Guyanese community. Patrick Stephens of the Guyana Defense Force said: “Colin A. Moore was an intellectual yet humble, a man of good character, a pillar of society, a loving husband, and he was always a very proud Guyanese!” Moore attended cultural events sponsored by the Guyanese community and was the keynote speaker for the Guyana Festivals Committee in New York during an event with the Guyana Consulate General. However, he advocated for African-Americans, Caribbeans, and immigrants alike. In 2003, Moore was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Immigrant’s Journal, and in 2004, Senior Editor of Caribbean American Weekly.
Mr. Moore made valuable contributions to his homeland of Guyana before moving to New York. He helped create the foundations of culture in Guyana by providing subsidies to promote the Guyanese Steelband Association and other music genres. Moore also lobbied to make the date of the Berbice Slave Rebellion a national holiday in Guyana and to designate the leader of the Berbice Slave Rebellion as a national hero. In 1964, Colin A. Moore was appointed Executive Director of the National History and Culture Council in Guyana.
Colin A. Moore migrated to New York in 1970, where he attended Brooklyn Law School soon after arriving in the city. He graduated in 1978 with the degree of Jurist Doctor and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1979. Mr. Moore has lived an accomplished life and received numerous awards for community service.
However, “Colin Moore must be remembered most for his work as an advocate for Civil Rights of Blacks and minorities in New York City,” said Patrick Stephens.
Colin A. Moore was the leading attorney for several high-profile cases in New York that highlighted the city’s racial tensions. Cases such as the Howard Beach racial killing of Michael Griffith, the Central Park jogger case where Black and Latino youths were wrongly convicted and jailed for allegedly raping and beating a white woman; and the Gavin Cato case where a Black child was accidentally killed by a vehicle and the incident sparked the Crown Heights riots.
Of these cases mentioned above, the Central Park Jogger case received the most attention. Former President Donald Trump, at that time, insisted that the five teenagers be treated harshly as criminals, even though there was no concrete evidence against them, and the victim could not remember the incident.
The only thing that sealed their fate and led to their conviction and imprisonment was their confessions. However, Colin A. Moore, who represented Kharey Wise, who was 16-years-old at the time of the incident, insisted that the “…defendants were being framed because they’re Black and Hispanic, and they’re very young kids.”
Attorney Brian Figeroux of the Law Firm of Figeroux & Associates recalled Colin A. Moore and the Central Park Jogger case. “The kids were convicted and sent to prison, only to find out through a confession and DNA that those kids were innocent. Mr. Moore fought for those kids’ rights.” Mr. Figeroux recalled that Mr. Moore and the other defense attorneys on the case “were ostracized and criticized by the victim and other people as being bad people defending these youths.” “When you’re talking about civil rights and changes, you’re talking about Colin Moore, civil rights attorney extraordinaire, “said Mr. Figeroux, who expressed that Moore was loved and will be missed. Like many others in the community, he offers condolences to Colin Moore’s family.
Pearl Phillip, Editor-in-Chief of Caribbean American Weekly and The Immigrant’s Journal expressed her thoughts on Mr. Moore. “Mr. Moore was a brilliant mind and a teacher. He was always willing to explain and teach. I learned so much from him and respected his intelligence and dedication to the Caribbean community.”
Staff at the Law Firm of Figeroux & Associates remember Mr. Moore: “Colin Moore will be remembered as an astute attorney and a vibrant community organizer, who dedicated his life to serving the underserved communities in the New York Tri-State. He was a mentor to many of us and radiated a glow that enlightened the lives of others. Mr. Moore was a vigilant civil rights activist who remained committed to fighting civil rights injustices and oppression. We will remember him for passion and excellence in promoting social cohesion and economic development in the Caribbean Diaspora.”
The Caribbean American Weekly offers heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and supporters of Colin A. Moore. The community has suffered a significant loss. Mr. Moore will always be remembered as a true Guyanese Son of the Soil. May his soul rest in eternal peace.