MOTON, ROBERT RUSSA, 1867-1940

Biography:

Educator, college professor; advocate for African-American progress. Born– August 26, 1867, Amelia County, Va. Parents– Booker and Emily (Brown) Moton. Married– Elizabeth Hunt Harris, June 7, 1905 (died 1906). Married– Jennie Dee Booth, July 1, 1908. Children– Five. Education– Taught by mother; attended free school for Negroes; Hampton Institute, 1885-1891.  Commandant of student cadet corps at Hampton, 1891-1915; assisted in soliciting funds for Hampton and represented school at meetings and conferences.  Principal of Tuskegee Institute, 1915-1940; added College department in the 1920′s; established camp for training black officers and a black combat division in World War I; aided in the nomination of  Emmett Scott, an African-American,  as assistant to the Secretary of War and in the selection of Tuskegee as the site for a VA Hospital. Served as  Chairman of the American Red Cross, 1927; Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Education in Haiti, 1930. Received the Harmon Award for Race Relations, 1932; the Spingarn Medal, 1935. Awarded honorary degrees by Oberlin College, Williams College, Virginia Union, Wilberforce,Lincoln, Howard, and Harvard Universities.  Selected to deliver a major address at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, 1922. The airfield at Tuskegee, where the Tuskegee Airmen trained during World War II, is named in his honor. Retired from Tuskegee Institute, 1935. Died May 31, 1940.

Papers;

The papers of Robert Russa Moton are included in the Moton Family Papers collection at the Library of Congress.

Source:

Dictionary of American Biography, Suppl. 2, Current Biography, 1940, and Reader’s Digest, 57; pp. 25-28, Nov. 1950.

Publication(s):

An Apostle of Good Will. Hampton, Va.; Hampton A & M Institute, 1917.

Finding a Way Out. Garden City, N.Y.; Doubleday, 1920.

The Negro of Today. Tuskegee, Ala.; Tuskegee Institute, 1921.

The Negro’s Debt to Lincoln. Hampton, Va.; s.n., 1922.

Racial Good Will. Hampton, Va.; Hampton Institute, 1916.

What the Negro Thinks. Garden City, N.Y.; Doubleday, 1929.