OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.
Wayetu Moore is more than just a writer—she is the CEO and publisher of One Moore Book—a boutique publisher of culturally sensitive and educational stories for children of countries with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures.
The Columbia University grad student of Liberian descent moved to the U.S. with her family in 1990 to flee the civil war and developed a strong need to give back, which has meant giving a voice to children who are not likely to read about themselves or even have access to other cultures outside their own.
One Moore Book is a member of the Children’s Book Council, a nonprofit trade association of North American children’s book publishers dedicated to supporting and informing the industry. In an interview with Madame Noire, Moore says of her love of literature: “My family experienced the war in Liberia in 1990 and upon moving here when I was 5, it took a long time for me to adjust—longer than my sisters. My mother would buy books for me and read to us before sleeping so I wouldn’t have nightmares. Reading saved my childhood mind from completely losing my trust for people and life. My mother eventually suggested that I begin to write and I wrote my first poem around 7 or 8 and it provided similar therapy as the bedtime stories my mother read to me. These early experiences stuck and I have always been aware of the power of literature and art in the lives of children, especially children who face adversity. I could not imagine not being able to read then–I’m not sure what would have saved me.”
Moore is working on a novel that will be published with Graywolf Press.