“God Is Not An American” is a third collection of memoirs released under jessica Care moore’s publishing house, Moore Black Press, that explores the concept of God, genocide, the rapid depletion of Earth’s resources, race and war.
“This media and this country [don’t] pay enough attention,” said the self-proclaimed Earth mother of Cherokee decent, particularly about the daily battle women are losing to abuse and the AIDS epidemic. “They’re killing mothers and blowing out children’s limbs and they’re not talking to indigenous women and black women about what they think is going to karmically happen to us and our blood.”
Working as a poet, author, playwright, publisher and literary activist, moore has had quiet a journey after quitting her job as a news writer for FOX’s “Channel 50 Ten o’ Clock News” (before the network was UPN and CW) and leaving her Wayne State journalism and political science degree in limbo to pursue her poetry and writing full-time.
Her first encounter with success came when she visited New York to attend her cousin’s graduation from NYU.
“Things happened in New York that were very magical that made me feel like I was supposed to be [there],” she said.
Stepping off the bus on 125th St. to survey the city quickly turned into an extended stay after moore landed her first show as a special guest following a Sony Music talent search audition. Shortly after, with nothing more than a Ford pickup packed with her belongings, the 22 year-old moved to Harlem for the next six years.
Her first nationally acclaimed performance was of course, her five-time winning streak on “It’s Show At the Apollo,” making the rest of Detroit feel as if they won too.
Authoring such books as “The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth” and “The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto,” moore’s work has been praised as widely as some of her heroines, Zora Neal Houston, Alice Walker, Jane Cortez, bell hooks and mentor Sonia Sanchez.
Achieving a myriad of success, she became Dartmouth College’s first resident poet educating students on the Black arts movement, was featured on numerous television shows including NBC’s “Today Show” and “Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam” HBO series and wrote, produced and hosted her own show, “Smokin’,” directed by Robert Townsend on the Black Family Channel for two seasons before the network was pulled.
She has also worked and shared the stage with a plethora of artists including George Clinton, Mos Def, Nikki Giovanni and the late, Ossie Davis who told her after one of her readings, “You done good.” In addition to performing for important causes like AIDS awareness, a cause she partook in after her friend, Joseph, died of AIDS in the ‘80s, at Carnegie Hall and twice for the United Nations, she has also been commissioned to read her work to audiences all over the world including Paris, Germany, Scotland, Holland as well as South Africa. Moving to Atlanta for seven years before settling back in Detroit almost two years ago with her son, King, moore’s main priority continues to be on Detroit’s rapidly crumbling educational system and the lack of full-time artists.
“Everybody’s coming under the same indoctrination under the same educational system – how do you make progressive thinkers?” moore said. “We have to have progressives leaders inside the school.”
moore, a Cody High graduate who grew up on the border of Dearborn and Detroit, urges schools to support and cultivate artistic expression.
“Art is what’s going to keep these kids from wanting to kill each other,” she added. “Writing poetry saved my life. We have to keep Detroit artists alive and motivated.”
Recently partnering with Deryk Toles, a retired NFL player, moore is working on giving away two $1000 scholarships to a graduating senior, male and female at the end of January from her jessica Care moore Foundation.
“We can only go up,” she said. “I think it can only get better and I know people like me and my generation that actually give a damn.”
For more information about her foundation and where to send donations, e-mail email@example.com.