South Florida mourns the loss of Carlton Bradley Moore, a champion of the people
Carlton B. Moore spent most of his life speaking truth to power in an effort to insure that those in need would not be ignored by those in authority.
By Charles Moseley
There’s an old adage that states, “Leaders are born, and not made.” If that old adage is true then it certainly would apply to the life of Carlton Bradley Moore, who from an early age displayed an uncanny ability to lead. On April 2, South Florida lost a leader who dedicated much of his life fighting to empower those in the community that he loved so well. Carlton B. Moore succumbed at the age of 60.
Moore was born on Aug. 23, 1953 in Tampa, Fla. He was the youngest of four siblings born to parents Ada and Benjamin Moore, including sister DeNese and brothers, Dennis and Benjamin. Moore’s family relocated to Fort Lauderdale in 1960.
It was not long before a precocious young Moore would start to display signs of the man that he would one day become. His mother recalled several in-stances where her son began showing signs of being a leader.
“Carlton would always look out for the little guy and stick up for those who could not stick up for themselves. I remember when he attended Rock Island Elementary, shortly after it be-came integrated. Carlton didn’t understand why there were no Blacks on the cheerleading squad so he spoke up to find out why.
“Carlton also attended Fort Lauderdale Senior High, where he led student demonstrations which resulted in Blacks participating in extracurricular activities. He even got the students to wear black at the school every Wednesday,” Moore add-ed.
By the time Moore became a student at Broward Community College (BCC) he had become bitten by the bug of community activism; by now it was in his blood. Once again he engaged in an act of social empowerment as a founding member of the Black Student Union at BCC.
As a young man it was not long before Moore sought to expand what had become a need to fight social injustice on a larger scale and broader community. The Fort Lauderdale Branch of the NAACP became his launching pad through which he would become recognized not only locally, statewide, and regionally, but as president of the local branch. Moore would rub shoulders with those on the nation’s oldest civil rights organization on a national level to help formulate programs and policies which have had a far reaching impact nationwide.
“Under Moore’s leadership, the Fort Lauderdale Branch NAACP, Florida State Confer-ence NAACP, Southeast Re-gional NAACP, and National NAACP fought for Single mem-ber districts, Fair Share Programs, Community Re-Entry Programs and piloted education justice, economic development, and criminal justice programs that were implemented successfully throughout the nation. Former National Presidents Ben Hooks and Kweisi Mfume worked with Moore to develop national programs. The NAACP and the Civil Rights movement lost a giant,” said Marsha A. Ellison, President of the Fort Lauderdale/Broward Branch of the NAACP.
Moore’s reputation as a community activist during his tenure as NAACP President was well deserved, as he quickly developed a reputation for taking on a plethora of social ills which characterized urban communities across the nation. Carlton used the platform that the NAACP had provided to enter into the political arena and elected on the Fort Lauderdale City Commission in 1988. Moore followed in the footsteps of Andrew DeGraffenreidt, the city’s first African American city commissioner.
Over the next several decades, Moore represented the City’s predominantly African American District 3 with all the tenacity and passion that he had shown as a civil rights leader as head of the NAACP. This resulted in a number of tangible improvements in infrastructure and the socio-economic development along Sistrunk Boulevard and the surrounding neighborhoods. What once had become a neighborhood known for being a crime ridden eyesore in the City, has now be-gun a transformation into an area where citizens are taking ownership and pride in their community. Moore is credited for being the chief architect of the transformation in the Sistrunk community.
“Fort Lauderdale has lost a true champions of the people,” said Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler. Commissioner Moore’s decades of distinguished leadership provided a strong voice to our City and, in particular, to our Northwest community. His vision and tireless efforts brought new residential and commercial development to the Midtown area, while laying the foundation for much of the progress and advancement we continue to see today. We are grateful for his many years of outstanding service to Fort Lauderdale and his countless contributions to moving our city for-ward. Our thoughts, prayers, and support are with his family during this difficult time,” said John P. “Jack” Seiler, Mayor of Fort Lauderdale.
Throughout his political career, Moore’s professional career was in the field of financial planning, most notably as a corporate executive with McKinley Financial Services in Fort Lauderdale.
Most recently he provided his expertise in community economic development for the Pompano Beach Community Re-development Agency (CRA).
“In my district, District IV, which is the northwest district in the City of Pompano Beach, the CRA that Carlton worked on he was very instrumental in moving our CRA forward, the Northwest CRA. He brought a lot of knowledge and experience from the community in Fort Lauderdale. He brought it up here to Pompano to help us move the CRA forward. I’m going to surely miss him because he was the best. The guy was a hard worker and he knew all the right connections of who to get in contact with. These are the things that I’m going to miss most about Carlton,” said Pompano Beach City Commissioner Woodrow “Woody” Poitier.
Westside Gazette Publisher Bobby R. Henry, Sr. worked along with Moore in a unified effort to draw attention to the plight of Fort Lauderdale’s and other parts of Broward County suffering from the ills of socio-economic neglect.
“Carlton knew how to get things done because he knew those who made things happen. We shared on a special plane never asking, “Why?” We accepted our differences. Once I realized the uniqueness in the areas of our lives to which we chose to make a difference, I understood him better.”
The only thing that exceeded Moore’s love for his community was his love and devotion for his mother Ada, and his sons Martin and Forrest Moore.
Moore not only wished for but worked tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of others. Moore embraced the challenges presented to those who chose to lead. He never retreated in the face of adversity; rather when faced against tremendous odds, Moore relied on a saying which he credited to his mother, Ada. “When wishing won’t, work will.”