Prominent Caribbean attorney, Colin Moore political activist, dies

Colin A. Moore

Colin Moore, prominent Caribbean attorney, civil rights advocate, and political and community activist, has died.

Moore who was 80 years old, died of natural causes in New York City on January 9.

The Guyana-born lawyer, is best known for the role he played as a lawyer in defending the so-called 1989 Central Park Joggers case.

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President of the Brooklyn, New York-based Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Inc, Patricia Jordon-Langford described him as a skilled and tactical attorney who represented many high-profile cases in New York that sometimes provoked the ire of the reactionaries.

She said he was a civil rights advocate and a proponent for justice, and a patriot for his country of birth, Guyana.

Grenadian Gerry Hopkins, a community activist and publicist, described Moore as “a stalwart Caribbean-American father, husband, activist, lawyer, lecturer, politician, analyst and community organizer.

Moore was admitted to the New York State Bar in February 1979.

Former Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice, Reynold Mason, said Moore was a standout attorney in the Central Park jogger case, representing one of the suspects, 16 year old Korey Wise.

“He fought valiantly to prove that the youths were coerced against a blanket of media frenzy. Thirty years later, they were all exonerated after spending six to 13 years in prison. At that time, they were all minors,” added Mason.

“He was a noted public speaker and political analyst,” said Mason, noting that “the people of New York, and the people of the Caribbean in particular, owe much to this trailblazing Caribbean pioneer. His presence will be sorely missed.”

Moore graduated from the University of West Indies with a Bachelor of Science degree (Honors) in economics.

On his return to Guyana, he was appointed executive director of the National History and Culture Council in 1964, and helped to create the foundations of a national culture in Guyana.

Mason said Moore lobbied to have February 23, the date of the Berbice Slave Rebellion, declared a national holiday, and to have Kofi, the leader of the rebellion, designated as Guyana’s first national hero.

Colin Moore migrated to New York in 1970, attended Brooklyn Law School in September 1975 and graduated in June 1978, with the degree of Jurist Doctor (JD).

“Moore will be remembered as a formidable visionary, articulate voice and advocate for the rights of African Americans and immigrants in the Diaspora. My deepest condolences are extended to the wife and children of the late great, brilliant, inspiring and impactful, Colin Moore,” said Mason.