Celebrating Pioneers of African American History

Notes from the President:

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Often people think that the need for aging services is “someone else’s problem” or “it won’t affect me.”  In fact, even the most extraordinary individuals can need support as they age. In celebration of Black History Month, I’d like to tell you about two such remarkable figures who I had the pleasure of getting to know when Easter Seals had the privilege to serve them as participants in The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Adult Day Services in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Inter-Generational Center, Cicero Satterfield and The Reverend Douglas Moore.

When Cicero Satterfield and his family first came to visit our Adult Day Services, he was already in his 90s but still vibrant and impeccably dressed. That spit and polish style was a reflection of his experience as a Tuskegee Airman and continued throughout time with Easter Seals.

Cicero and President Obama

Cicero served as an airplane mechanic with the famed all-black unit of the U.S. Army Air Forces. Their struggles and triumphs were chronicled in the movie “Red Tails,” and while he was with us, he and other Tuskegee Airmen were invited to view a screening of the film with President Obama.

Cicero was born and raised in Mississippi and attended Wilberforce University in Ohio. After his World War II service, he returned to Mississippi before moving to Washington. He settled in Takoma Park, where he worked for many years as a DC social services official and served as a Boy Scout leader.  His love of children showed during intergenerational activities in the Center – he enjoyed games and reading with his young friends.

Cicero and Zadi

Reverend Douglas Moore was another client of our Adult Day Services in Silver Spring who has lived an exceptional life. He inspired a generation and helped shape the Civil Rights movement by leading the Royal Ice Cream Parlor sit-in, which took place in Durham, North Carolina in 1957. This non-violent protest caught the attention of Civil Rights leaders and activists around the country, including Dr. Martin Luther King. “I showed them that sit-ins can work,” said Rev. Moore. “Martin told me, ‘what you’ve done is extraordinary.’”

From a young age, Rev. Moore was a leader, activist and role model. He was the first black Eagle Scout in North Carolina, an African missionary and founder of the Black United Front. He was a pastor for United Methodist churches in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, as well as an avid art collector and long-time businessman, served on the DC City Council and even ran for Mayor in 2002.

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Rev. Moore came to us when his wife, Dr. Doris Hughes-Moore, was asked by Howard University to return to work after retiring.  As his primary caregiver, it was a priority for Dr. Hughes-Moore to find a quality, compassionate and nurturing daily care program for her husband. “The staff at Easter Seals is absolutely wonderful,” she said.  “I love the warmth of the staff and the beauty of the facility – Rev. Moore is comforted by beautiful things.”

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Keith Rouse is the activities director for The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Adult Day Services, and got to know both men well during their time with us.

“I’ve been working for almost two decades in adult day services, and it’s something I love,” says Keith. “It’s so fulfilling to provide every client the dignified care they deserve, but getting to learn firsthand about the struggles of these two extraordinary men, Cicero Satterfield and Reverend Douglas Moore, and how they overcame the injustices they faced has truly been one of the great honors and highlights of my work here.”

During their time with us, Rev. Moore’s legacy and continuing leadership and inspiration to his fellow clients, and Cicero Satterfield’s stories of his service with a trailblazing military unit, wove their special connections with history into the tapestry of the inclusive community Easter Seals creates for all those we serve.

Their perseverance and dignity in the face of adversity, and personal connections to historic eras and events left a lasting impression on all us at Easter Seals. It was our honor and privilege to have known and cared for them.

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