August 16, 2012
SARAH MOORE GREENE DIES AT AGE 102
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we interrupt our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage” to honor our local civil rights pioneer & educator, Sarah Moore Greene.
Ms. Greene, described by the News-Sentinel as “one of Knoxville’s most influential civil rights advocates & community leaders,” passed away yesterday at the age of 102.
Sarah Moore Greene, a former state & local president of the NAACP, was the 1st black member of the Knoxville Board of Education & a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
A local school, Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy, honored her every year on her birthday.
Ms. Greene was the daughter of a former slave & railroad cook born in 1910. Her dad, Ike Moore, came to East Tennessee from Kentucky to help build railroads.
Ms. Greene, who kept her maiden name, Moore, in honor of her father, was a “life-long” Republican, the News-Sentinel tells us,“because her father’s owners were Republican” & because of Abraham Lincoln.
In 2008, Ms. Greene voted for Barack Obama. She said:
“I didn’t think we’d ever have a black president. I’d hoped we’ have one, but I didn’t believe.”
Ms. Greene majored in math at Tennessee A&I, now Tennessee State University, & began teaching at a one-room schoolhouse in Monroe County.
She came to Knoxville in the early 1930s & started her own kindergarten in the 1940s.
Sarah Moore Greene worked with city officials & business owners in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
US Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. said:
“She had the ability to get along with people from all walks of life, both black & white.”
Even after the success of the movement, Ms. Greene said:
“I’d ask the Lord to change things, to change hearts, because even when we got integrated, they (white people) still treated us differently.”