A (Black) Life That Mattered

Muhiyidin El Amin Moyé playing African drums

By Imam Al-Hajj Hakim Abdul-Ali

Sometimes when writing whatever it is that I’m inspired to write about, those commodities come somewhat easy for me to communicate. On some other occasions, I’m at a loss at where to begin and to express what is hidden somewhere in my orbital thoughts.

Such is the case where my present mind’s direction is at as I try to put my thoughts concisely together in words to convey something that is seething deep within my heart and soul. It deals with the tragic death and subsequent lost of a brilliant young African-American activist named Muhiyidin El Amin Moyé.

He was killed on last Tuesday morning, February 6, while allegedly riding his mountain bike in New Orleans, Louisiana. Details are somewhat sketchy as of this writing as to what exactly happened, but what is known is that he was purportedly shot in the leg and thigh while riding the bike and, afterwards, fell on a New Orleans’ street where he was found and taken to the nearest hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The thing that you have to know about this young and dedicated activist was that he was a highly educated young Black man who had apparently found his passion in life fighting for the cause of social justice for all oppressed people of color, especially those in the the African-American communities. Mr. Moye, who in recent years was more commonly known as Muhiyidin D’Baha, was a truly unique and committed soul, and he was literally the undisputed nationally recognized leader and voice of the Black Lives Matter Charleston Movement during the past several years.

It’s in that vein where my thoughts are headed now because to have really known this powerfully willed young titan, you’d have to have known what he was about, a fact that most of the nation’s majority presses covering him and his activism, seemingly, never got around to honesty portray, or they simply chose to purposely paint a distorted picture of him as a hell raiser. To the contrary, Mr. Moyé was a passionate activist, who believed very deeply in changing the stagnant conditions of so-called minority folks’ continued victimizations at the hands of “the system” by sustained confrontational activism.

Many opposing people and some biased forces would like to have shown the general public that this fiery and energetic orator was an unbridled voice of enraged militancy, but nothing could be further from the truth. He was, in actuality, a peacefully devoted fighter for the oppressed masses’ legitimate equal rights’ claims which were “supposed to be” heritage entitlements for all American citizenry regardless of any discriminating factors, but for the majority of folk of color, it always has been a disappearing reality.

To many he was a hero, and to some he was an irritant. Well, in the wake of his death, and in recognition of his valiant efforts and struggles, I’m just one voice who wants you to know that this young advocate for social justice was no loose cannon, but rather a focused and insightful activist, forever fighting to free downtrodden people of all color from the cloak of political and social injustices.

This easy going young man, a graduate of the University of South Carolina in 2008 and the possessor of a master’s degree from Winthrop University in 2011, was a highly visible activist leader in the Charleston Lowcountry and in the rest of  South Carolina. And he was quickly gaining a national reputation as an emerging leader who supported the efforts to abolish the abominable partisan political inequities directed towards African-Americans and other minorities.

If you were ever in Muhiyidin’s midst, you would have found a strongly built young brother with an engaging voice, who was always about advancing unified community enhancements. That topic seemed to be a staple of his political thought methodologies to me as I had spoken with him on numerous, off and on, instances during the last four years. “The Charleston Chronicle,” for one, featured numerous front page coverages and other stories of events centering around Mr. Moyé’s and the Black Lives Matter’s activities in the Charleston area and beyond.

Muhiyidin El Amin Moyé, 32, was an attentive and pervasive orator, who never seemed to be fearful of anything or anyone whenever he spoke his mind, or whenever he took physical stances to advocate or explain his views for and on behalf of the Black Lives Matter Movement’s issues or about other pressing social concerns. Even if you didn’t agree with or like the Black Lives Matter’s presence, as a few may have and do, no one could frankly state that this free thinking leader was not a person you couldn’t help but respect. He was different and so genuinely sincere.

This young man was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and he and his closely-knit family unit moved to the Lowcountry, settling in Hollywood, South Carolina when he was in his early teens. I met Muhiyidin, his parents, brothers and sisters shortly thereafter, and I immediately recognized that there was something special about “Moya,” a nickname his family called him.

He was smart, wise beyond his years and peerless in so many other ways, forever philosophical in his outlooks and views towards life, religion and nature, etc. From deep down in his soul, a fierce and pronounced leadership quality was brewing, a quality that I saw and sensed in later conversations with him after he’d earned his baccalaureate from USC.

You could see that something great was on the horizon for this young progressively theoretical thinker, who wanted to make the world a better place for all to live in peace and in harmony. I, personally, often felt that the Black Lives Matter Movement was only a launching pad for his future political aspirations because his advanced visions of social change were so refreshing in scope.

Mr. Moyé was an outwardly calm and loving person, who never expressed hatred towards anyone because of race, creed or color. He truly respected everyone, but he felt and knew that systematic oppression towards people of color was as real as real could be.

This gallant young activist thought that he could make a difference in changing the current political and social justice landscapes, and he did exactly that in his short life on earth. His unforeseen death in New Orleans may now have taken a courageous physical presence from “our” local, state and national midsts, but his invincible dynamism, staunch advocacies and stated agendas on behalf of “the forgotten American people” will never, ever be forgotten or shortchanged.

Muhiyidin El Amin Moyé was a talented ebony visionary beacon whose life “mattered” to so many, besides his prized family, until the national numbers of those who respected him are still extolling him with mutual admirations because he (symbolically) represented another Black freedom fighter who was cut down in his developing prime. Defiantly, his life and death “mattered” to many diverse people in and outside of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

This young scholarly activist achieved much in a short period of time, and with an apparent bright future before him, he was headed for more outstanding achievements and accolades. Sadly, the trouble is that a benighted coward chose to shoot him in New Orleans, for no sane reason, thus depriving his beloved family, friends and other loved ones, those in the Charleston home based community and the nation-at-large of the potential greatness that laid ahead for this  ingenious leader in the making.

Mr. Moyé was very politically savvy and intuitively sharp about life issues, factors that were visible to all who came in contact with him. A local close friend and confidant of his, Makh Aten, 50, told me in an interview, after learning of his dear friend’s death, that the activist was someone who taught him many things, in spite of their age differences, and that he (Muhiyidin) loved his family, nature, music, activism and traveling.

Mr. Aten related that Muhiyidin once said to him, quoting a lyric from the great Nat “King” Cole’s 1948 hit song, “Nature Boy,” that “the greatest thing in life you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” When I heard that, I couldn’t help but think that in so many ways, Muhiyidin was really a uniquely modern embodiment of what the legendary Mr. Cole was singing about.

I know that Black America and the rest of the nation has lost an intense, but strongly disciplined, leader due to the insanity of malicious gun violence occurring once again in our communities. No one saw this tragedy coming and, as a result, “A (Black) Life That Mattered” is lost to the bizarre happenings of recent “our-story.”

The shocking and devastating blow of Muhiyidin’s death, I believe, is too recent to now fully comprehend. The absence of this young warrior activist’s presence on the overall social justice trail everywhere will surely be missed, and not just by those who loved him here in the Lowcountry, but also by thousands of others who knew him nationally. His life served a meaningful purpose.

My sentiments about Mr. Moyé today are purely my own, but I do believe that they are shared by all who loved, respected and cared about this young man’s supreme intellect, stated mission and his gallant efforts in organizing the minority communities everywhere to stand up for their rights. He believed this was necessary in establishing a basis for advancing civil dialogue and developing an understanding that exposing the  corrosive systematic injustices against the neglected masses in this country is an American prerequisite for ideally bringing about social change.

“Rest In Peace” young brother Muhiyidin El Amin Moyé. Your life may have been cut short in the views of some, but you established so much in such a relatively small period of time until it should and must serve as a wake up call to us all that “death awaits us all.” So, to all I dutifully say, please know that “All Lives Matter,” and that includes the Black ones too. Muhiyidin’s did.

Again, Muhiyidin El Amin Moyé’s life “mattered” much to his family, loved ones and close associates in the causes of freedom, justice and equality for the oppressed masses of America. I was honored and privileged to have known him, both as an extremely devoted “hue-man” being and also as an attached community-minded individual, who never thought that he was better than the next soul.

In closing, I’d like to share two things with you as I close my thoughts about this young activist’s death. Firstly, the great abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth once said, “I am not going to die. I’m going home like a shooting star.”

Secondly, I’m reminded that the great nationalist leader El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) related, “If I die or killed before making it back to the States, you may rest assured that what I’ve already set in motion will never be stopped.” With respectful  remembrances of those two greats’ words and of young brother Muhiyidin El Amin Moyé, who will forever be missed, we should remember that “all life is sacred,” and we must never forget how precious each moment in life really, really is. Never dismiss that as you, hopefully, also remember that Muhiyidin’s life “mattered.”  Peace.

Muhiyidin El Amin Ibn Moye

The family of Muhiyidin El Amin Ibn Moye announces his celebration of life services which will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:00 Noon at Royal Missionary Baptist Church Church (4761 Luella Avenue North Charleston, SC, 29405). The viewing for Mr. Moye will be Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at Charity Baptist Church 1544 E. Montague Ave North Charleston SC 29405  from 5:00pm-8:00pm. The family will be receiving friends from 7:00PM -8:00PM. The viewing will also be on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Royal Missionary Baptist Church from 11:00am until time of service. THERE WILL BE NO VIEWING AFTER SERVICES. Condolences may be sent to the family at dickersonmortuary.net. Muhiyidin is resting peacefully in the comfort and care of DICKERSON MORTUARY, LLC. “Where Service Is The Key” (4700 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston, SC 29405). Phone: (843) 718-0144.


  1. Ose Chandler on March 10, 2018 at 5:17 am

    I greatly appreciate the essay written by Hakim Abdul-Ali ( A [Black] Life That Mattered) regarding Brother Muhiyidin (aka Moye’)
    The insights into the young man’s passions and motivations reveal characteristics not previously seen in media reports and newspaper articles.
    Certainly the family and friends of young Moye took some solace in Abdul-Ali’s portrayal of this young hero.
    Asante sana (“Thank you very much”) Brother Abdul-Ali.
    Asante sana Muhiyidin El Amin Ibn Moye.
    Osei T. Chandler

  2. Osei Chandler on March 10, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Misspelled ny own name!
    Osei is correct.

  3. samore on June 14, 2020 at 3:11 am


Leave a Comment