Philly Block Project

Cecil B. Moore

How did Cecil B. Moore Avenue, running East to West across Philadelphia, get its name?

Formerly ‘Columbia Ave,’ the street was rededicated in 1987 to honor a very special man. Cecil Bassett Moore (1915-1979) was a renowned Philadelphia defense attorney, civil rights leader, and former president of the local NAACP chapter. Serving as a Marine Corps sergeant during World War II, Moore is remembered for his passionate rhetoric in the fight for equal rights.

He once said that “I was determined when I got back that what rights I didn’t have I was going to take, using every weapon in the arsenal of democracy.”

Photos courtesy of Temple University Libraries.

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