Jackie Warren-Moore: Losing A Local Cultural Icon

Jackie Warren-Moore, a poet, playwright, theatrical director and freelance writer, died August 20, 2021. You can’t pin just one label on her work, because she did so many things.  Warren-Moore was a Syracuse African-American cultural icon who with her work inspired many through her poetry, plays and activism. Jackie also was a contributing writer to the (then) Syracuse Newspapers, giving local voice to some of our pressing issues.

As a playwright she was able to transform those characters into relatable people. And after decades of work, she rose to become a leader within the arts community. Some of her greatest work was with the Paul Robeson Performing Arts group.  Her gift to us, was keeping Black culture alive. Her latest book is “Where I Come From” (Nine Mile Books, 2016).

Paul Robeson Performing Arts Managing Director Emeritus, Roy Delemos said of Warren-Moore, “Words were at her command, and it is hard, if not impossible to corral words now to thank Jackie fully for gracing us with her powerful, warm and loving spirit which she wrapped in words of inspiration. Goodbye my friend. You will be missed.”

Jackie Warren-Moore attended Oswego State and became part of an artistic cadre of people from Syracuse, New York City and beyond. Even back in 1970, a freshman in college, Jackie was already making her mark on Black culture.

Emory Porter of New York City recalls Jackie from those Oswego State College years, saying “I met Jackie freshman year and we actually became writing partners, our first college play, it was called sketches of Black Men and Women. We wrote this first play and we produced it in the experimental theater. We continued to work together over a period of time. We took the play to different colleges.

Jackie was a fierce defender of Black writing and black life period. Her mom was an activist, she too was an activist. I met the whole family. Jackie was a very powerful woman. No one would mess with her whatsoever. She was very nice and calm, but you wouldn’t want to f&*k with her, not at all. She was not the one to mess with. I remember we were walking on campus and some white girls screamed out of the dorm window and she looked up, she counted the windows to see exactly where they were, she turned around in her tracks. By the time we got there she had tore them a new, (expletive).

She was an amazing person, she was a writer, she was an activist, she was a real down to earth person, and she was also funny, very, very funny. But she had a passion for life. She was a very passionate person.  All in all, she was an amazing writer I still wish I had some of her work.”

According to Syracuse.com, Warren-Moore “became a regular guest columnist in 2014. She wrote her last column in 2019. In the 1990s, she wrote for the Hometown Voices section of the Sunday Herald American. “The following links are just examples of the columns she penned for the newspaper.

·         Musician Bobby Green is a diamond in our midst,

·         Syracuse’s Dunbar Center a ‘bridge that carried us safely across’

·         An ‘old gangsta’ and others combat Syracuse gun violence: Jackie Warren-Moore

·         Generations work together to heal Syracuse’s South Side

·         Syracuse Black Expo puts spotlight on small business

·         This Black History Month, honor the heroes and ‘sheroes’ in our midst: Jackie Warren-Moore

These words simply scratch the surface of Jackie Warren-Moore’s contributions to; arts, culture, and writing a column about the Black community. To celebrate her life, a memorial service is being planned by the family. Details have not been released.

Rest in Power, Jackie Warren-Moore