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Reflections on Beverly A. Moorehead: Our Queen Mother and Matriarch

By Dr. Brenda M. Greene

Beverly A. Moorehead, our Queen Mother and Matriarch, was truly a woman warrior who gave her family unconditional love and support in countless ways and who lived her life with flair and laughter. A single mother, she worked tirelessly at night for years. Her three daughters were everything and there was nothing she would not do for her family.  Family gatherings were the epitome of the year for her.  She planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings for months ahead of time. She came out of retirement to support me and her grandson, Talib Kweli, when I managed Nkiru Books after he and his partner Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) purchased it.  And she loved music and believed that it was important to stay connected to young people so she would watch videos and listen to the songs of contemporary rhythm and blues musicians and hip hop artists.  When Barack Obama ran for President, she became obsessed with his election and was always ready to debate political issues with her children, grandchildren and friends.  A highlight of her life was when Talib Kweli took her to the birthday party of President Obama. 

My mother was also a doll collector and kept over 150 dolls in her one-bedroom apartment. We are sustaining her legacy through an exhibit of her doll collection on Saturday, December 10 at the Canvas Institute in Staten Island.

Beverly A. Moorehead is with the ancestors, but her legacy for celebrating and living life will be remembered and cherished  as we continue to tell her story. Her spirit lives on through me and my sisters JoAnn Adams and Lori Moorehead; her grandchildren: Abena Edwards, Talib Kweli, Jamal Greene, Taiwo Gaynor, Kehinde Gaynor, and Lloyd Mebane; her 17 great-grandchildren; and her nephews, nieces, cousins and loving friends. 

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