Dr Harold Moody
Name: Harold Moody
Born: 8 October 1882
Passed: 24 April 1947
Place of birth: Jamaica
Residencies: Jamaica, England
Known for: Humanitarian and civil rights activist
Harold Moody was born in Kingston Jamaica. He was the son of a pharmacist. According to the English Heritage’s website, Harold Moody came to London from Jamaica in 1904 to study medicine at King’s College, London.
It is said that Harold set up his own GP practice, as a result of him being denied a hospital appointment out of racial prejudice. Harold’s practice was on King’s Road (now King’s Grove), Peckham, and in 1913 he moved to 164 Queen’s Road.
He became a well-respected and sought-after GP. This was his home, practice and where he later died.
According to sources Harold proposed to nurse and colleague Olive Tranter, whom he met at the Royal Eye Hospital. The couple went on to have 6 children.
Harold’s house was open to fellow black people who couldn’t find a room or a meal elsewhere.
He was an activist, and Harold’s campaigning work bought him to lobby the
civil service, trade unions and parliament to help improve race relations.
In 1943 Harold was appointed to a government advisory committee which looked at issues on welfare on non-Europeans.
It is said that Harold’s campaign for civil rights was the key to influencing the 1965 Race Relations Act. This was the first legislation in the UK to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of colour, race or ethnic or national origins in public places. This act gave birth to the Race Relations Board in 1966.
According to 100 Great Britons, Harold is said to have led the first effective black pressure group in this country, which back then was known as ‘The League of Coloured Peoples’.
Harold Moody has clearly laid the ground for racial equality. In 1995 the English Heritage put a blue plaque outside where Harold lived, in recognition of his campaign for racial equality.