July 4 2020   12:18:46pm

Who was Inez Moore Parker?

Inez Moore Parker was born in 1907 in El Dorado, Ark. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Virginia Union University of Richmond, Va. Mrs. Parker earned a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan in 1936. Her teaching career began at the Mary Potter School in Oxford, NC as an English instructor from 1933 to 1935. Later, Mrs. Parker was commissioned to chair the Mary Allen Junior College in Crockett, Texas. She served in that position for six years, providing services to the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. as speaker at the Presbyterian of Kansas and Nebraska and attended the annual Workers Conference that brought together workers from the black mission field. Mrs. Parker also was appointed chairman of the English Department at Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1942-1944. After serving in that position, she became an English professor at Johnson C. Smith University and chaired the department until her tenure in 1970. She also did advanced studies at the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, and Columbia University.

In 1975, Mrs. Parker developed the Black Culture Center on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University to preserve, collect, and save the records of Johnson C. Smith University and other documents by African Americans. She wanted to ensure that students, faculty, and the Charlotte community would not forget their heritage. Materials gathered from her research to publish her two books “The Biddle-Johnson C. Smith University Story”, and “The Rise and Decline of the Program of Education For Black Presbyterians of the United Presbyterian Church U.S. A., 1865-1970”, became the nucleus of the Black Culture Center and later the archives.

Mrs. Parker was a member of the Board of Directors of the Centennial Committee, the North Carolina Historical Society and Literary Society, Mayor John’s Belk Blue Heaven Committee and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Mrs. Parker died in 1984 leaving a legacy of devotion, a passion for education, and a firm determination to uplift the Black race. She has one daughter Amelia Parker.

“It is good for us as a people to know our background, to know
where we came from and where we’re about to go.”
Inez Moore Parker, May 12, 1982

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