The Moores journeyed to California in 1911, eventually settling in Bakersfield (the Patch). The family then consisted of James and Luvenia and their children: Martha (7 years), Florence (5 years) and Luvenia (1 year). Between 1915 and 1916, they purchased two acres of land located at Route 4, Virginia Colony.
As strong believers in familihood and self-discipline, both parents labored to keep themselves respectable “in front of their children” for they knew that their children would some day benefits from this tuype of teaching. When we take a clear look at the family, we can easily observe that this teachign is prevalent today.
The children always respected their parents despite what we might consider harsh treatment. They learned early the fact sof life and self-discipline.
The children began to attend Williams Elementary School on NIles Street in East Bakersfield, later transferring to Lincoln School and eventually graduating from Bakersfield High School. Their Education was not easy it was a long and arduous experience often marked by racism and tragedy, but always they sustained their belief in “self.” (It is also important to note that during these years, 1913 to 1931, Black people wer only allowed to study courses such as sewing, cooking, woodshop, machine shop and courses in what many people would consider subservient trades.
In a “rough and ready” fashion approach to success the children first learned the essence of work, work, work, and work. Grandfather (James Moore) insisted that the children prepare themselves with good fundamental skills. Educational and survival skills were stressed to them. Martha, Florence, Luvenia, now in their teens quickly amplified this message to the younger brother and sisters. Consequently, work went on as usual with short interruptions — either receiving visitors or being visited by friends.
But the idea of self-improvement was always present in the minds of all the children. It seems as if every child understood his or her role, during teh painful years following from 1930 to 1933. The family was severely saddened by the deaths of their father in 1931, Janey in 1932, and Bertha in 1933.
These painful years indeed established an unbounding unity and family inner-strength coupled with God’s power to help those who believe in Him.
It seems that the family was best able to survive as a family unit in a situation where there is little hope of educational upward mobility or professional opportuniteis are those families best able to cope with its environment as it presents itself. In such a case the Moore Family has indeed proved successful. Moreover, they have today simplified their parents’ belief in familihood and held onto this dream, unti it was realized.
Excerpt from 1977 Moore Family Reunion Book prepared by Malik Young
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