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MOON, FREDERICK DOUGLASS (1896-1975)

Frederick Moon, African American educator, was born on May 4, 1896, at Fallis, Oklahoma Territory. Son of Henry Clay and Pollie Twiggs Moon, Frederick was educated in the segregated schools of Lincoln County, Oklahoma. Because there was no high school for African Americans near his home, Moon entered Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University) while in the ninth grade and completed high school and two years of college there. In1929 he achieved his bachelor of science and earned his masters of arts at the University of Chicago in 1938. During his time at Langston, Moon led an effort to develop a memorial to Inman Page, the college's first president.

Moon began his teaching career at Crescent, Oklahoma, in 1921 where he helped the school gain accreditation. In 1929 the Oklahoma Association of Negro Teachers elected him as their president. In 1931 he taught in and was principal of Wewoka Douglass High School, where he again assisted a school in gaining accreditation with the North Central Association.

Moon married Leoshia Harris, of Oklahoma City, on August 28, 1935. In 1940 he moved to Oklahoma City where he became the Douglass High School principal. He continued in that position until 1961. Considered the "dean" of African American education, he was elected to the Oklahoma City Board of Education in 1972 and served as its first African American president in 1974. He served at a time when federally mandated desegregation occurred within the Oklahoma City Public School System. During this time the program of busing students across town was carried out in order to bring racial equality to the schools.

Moon was also a civic leader in the community. He served as a director for the YMCA. He was variously president of the Oklahoma City Urban League, Langston Alumni Association, and Oklahoma Association of Negro Teachers, as well as a member of the National Education Association. He was vice president of the National Association of Secondary Principals and the American Association of School Administrators and served on the mayor's Human Relations Commission and the Urban Renewal Authority. The Oklahoma School of Religion at Langston honored Moon with a doctor's degree in humanities. Moon's publications included Organization and Administration of High School for Negroes in Oklahoma, A Fifth Freedom for the Negro, and Teacher Integration in the Border States. He resigned his position with the board of education due to declining health in December 1974. He died December 16, 1975, in Oklahoma City.

SEE ALSO: AFRICAN AMERICANS, CIVIL RIGHTS, ALPHONSO DOWELL, EDUCATION, IRA HALL, LANGSTON, NAACP, OKLAHOMA ASSOCIATION OF NEGRO TEACHERS, OKLAHOMA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, ROSENWALD SCHOOLS, SEGREGATION, URBAN RENEWAL

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Frederick Moon Collection, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mary C. Moon, "Frederick Douglass Moon: A Study of Black Education in Oklahoma" (M.A. thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1978).

William D. Welge

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