The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Yvette Moyo

Marketing and nonprofit executive Yvette Moyo was born on December 8, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois to Rudolph and Pauline Jackson. Moyo grew up in Chicago and attended South Shore High School. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1974 with her B.A. degree in Afro-American Studies.

Upon graduation, Moyo was hired at the National Publication Sales Agency to work with the original Blackbook as a door-to-door saleswoman. She was promoted to account executive with the Blackbook and Dollars & Sense magazine, and eventually to the position of senior vice president of sales and marketing. Moyo remained at Dollars & Sense magazine handling branding, national events, and advertising until 1988 when she married Karega Kofi Moyo. They then co-founded the marketing firm, Resource Associates International, Ltd. (RAI) and launched Real Men Cook for Charity, an annual Father’s Day celebration in 1990. In 1992, Moyo launched the Marketing Opportunities in Business & Entertainment (MOBE) advanced marketing symposium series. In November of 2001, MOBE worked co-hosted a White House briefing on African American Business and Technology. Following the success of Real Men Cook for Charities in the 1990s, their Father’s Day events were held in thirteen cities and featured on network TV and in major national publications. These events generated over one $1 million for various nonprofits. Co-founder of the year-round nonprofit organization Real Men Charities, Inc. in 2003, Moyo served as Executive Director until 2013.

Moyo is the co-creator of two books: Real Men Cook: More Than 100 Easy Recipes Celebrating Tradition and Family, published by Kofi Moyo in 2005; and Real Women Cook: Building Healthy Communities with Recipes that Stir the Soul, co-authored with Sharon Morgan in 2012. In 2008, Real Men Cook was honored and showcased on the show “Emeril Live!” and featured on the Al Roker Show in a segment called “Do Good Food.” Moyo was personally honored in 1988 as one of the “100 Women to Watch” in Today’s Chicago Woman. She has also been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Public Relations Advertising and Marketing Excellence Award, the Woman in Entertainment Pioneer Award, the 50 Women of Excellence Award, Trailblazer/Women in the Fatherhood Movement Award presented by Congressman Danny Davis, YMCA’s Black Achievers Award, and the Black Women's Hall of Fame Kizzy Award.

Moyo is divorced and has one biological son and eight “adopted” children: Angela Saunders Hodge, Kweli, Ki-Afi, Kilolo Shalomeet, Yosheyah, Gavriel, Kush, and Kevani Zelpha (deceased) Moyo.

Yvette Moyo was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.245

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/19/2013

Last Name

Moyo

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Jackson

Occupation
Schools

Eastern Illinois University

South Shore International College Prep High School

Charles S. Deneen Elementary School

Bouchet Academy

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Yvette

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MOY02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

That Which You Share Will Multiply. That Which You Withhold Shall Diminish.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/8/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice (Ginger Broccoli)

Short Description

Author Yvette Moyo (1953 - ) , founder of the annual Father’s Day celebration Real Men Cook, is featured in the book about the brand she built, Real Men Cook: More Than 100 Easy Recipes Celebrating Tradition and Family and co-author of Real Women Cook: Building Healthy Communities with Recipes that Stir the Soul.

Employment

Third World Press

United Black Fund

Model Cities Chicago

Blackbook & Dollars & Sense Quarterly Report

Dollars & Sense Magazine

Resource Associates International, Ltd

Real Men Charities, Inc.

Marketing Opportunities in Business & Entertainment

Black United Fund

Favorite Color

Orange, Turquoise

Timing Pairs
0,0:184250,2991$0,0:7706,122:8071,128:8363,133:9312,143:11137,174:13181,232:24703,358:25058,365:25910,387:26549,397:45081,732:47962,794:54863,954:65415,1117:72840,1266:90344,1530:97406,1620:106860,1729:111818,1801:113560,1828:126750,2003:135150,2159:136125,2179:136800,2189:142573,2265:143263,2284:143677,2291:144850,2306:149473,2402:162142,2583:183278,2918:189770,2974:191450,3020:192990,3056:193690,3073:194040,3079:194320,3084:194740,3104:195020,3109:195650,3121:197260,3148:197750,3156:200830,3216:215020,3413:218140,3469:218686,3481:222304,3493:229504,3705:238440,3789:243276,3854:245586,3988:256718,4128:261074,4216:273568,4424:275930,4435
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yvette Moyo's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvette Moyo lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yvette Moyo talks about her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvette Moyo describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvette Moyo describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvette Moyo describes her childhood home in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yvette Moyo talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yvette Moyo describes her parents' courtship and marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yvette Moyo describes her relationships with her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Yvette Moyo describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Yvette Moyo talks about her childhood neighbors in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvette Moyo shares memories of her childhood in Park Manor, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvette Moyo talks about her experiences at Deneen Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvette Moyo talks about Bryn Mawr Elementary School and the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvette Moyo talks about moving to the South Shore in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvette Moyo talks about her experiences at Bryn Mawr Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvette Moyo talks about her experiences at South Shore High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvette Moyo describes her family's participation in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvette Moyo describes participating in the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvette Moyo describes her extracurricular activites at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvette Moyo describes her undergraduate experience at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvette Moyo talks about her Afro-American Studies degree from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvette Moyo describes her political and civic work in Chicago, Illinois during the late 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvette Moyo describes her sales and editorial jobs in Chicago, Illinois during the late 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvette Moyo talks about her interest in Afro-American and African history

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvette Moyo describes her career at Dollars & Sense magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvette Moyo talks about the development of Resource Associates International

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvette Moyo describes the origins of Real Men Cook in the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvette Moyo details the goals and achievements of Real Men Cook

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvette Moyo talks about her family

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvette Moyo talks about her children

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvette Moyo talks about the legacy and future of Real Men Cook

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Yvette Moyo describes the development of Marketing Opportunities in Business & Entertainment in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvette Moyo talks about Marketing Opportunities in Business & Entertainment and the growth of black communities on the Internet during the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvette Moyo talks about the media interest in Real Men Cook

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvette Moyo talks about the inspiration for her self-published cookbook

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvette Moyo talks about becoming a vegetarian and her partnerships with community organizations in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Yvette Moyo describes the development of Real Men Cook brand grocery items

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Yvette Moyo reflects on her past successes and failures

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Yvette Moyo talks about her future

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Yvette Moyo describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Yvette Moyo reflects on her life and gives advice for future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Yvette Moyo talks about her identity as a HistoryMaker

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Yvette Moyo describes her family's participation in the Civil Rights Movement
Yvette Moyo details the goals and achievements of Real Men Cook
Transcript
Okay now just a little bit more about the Civil Rights Movement and your family's involvement and maybe even your brother [Steven Dwayne Jackson] and yourself's involvement. Where, do you remember where you were when [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther] King [Jr.] was killed? You were younger but do you remember that?$$I remember my brother telling me that King was killed and I was at home. And I remember when Kennedy was killed; I was on the schoolyard with friends. Someone said it and we were all torn up about it. With Dr. King my brother was mad about it and he was like this is what Malcolm [X] has been saying, "You don't get anything from being nonviolent." He had been--my brother's cycle was nonviolence first and he was leaning towards [Black] Panthers and I also went to the Panthers' office and did a little volunteer work following them. And then he, before he graduated from college--I mean high school he became the first black hippie that anybody had ever heard of or seen. We didn't even know that we should call him hippie until we saw it on TV but he was definitely pretty raggedy and had hair that wasn't exactly approvable by my father [Rudolph Jackson], which mine either. And but so Steve went through every cycle of the Civil Rights Movement and from nonviolence to violence to picking up arms if we have to to feeding the youth breakfast with the Panthers to being a stoned hippie and moving to Haight Ashbury [neighborhood, San Francisco, California] with a blonde by the time he left high school. So he was a good model of what was happening. He was a poster child for what was happening during those times.$$So what was your involvement or your feelings about it?$$My feelings--well I was very much--we went to [Operation] PUSH [People United to Save Humanity] meetings on a pretty regular basis. My grandmother [Izetta Clay] went every single--my grandmother and grandfather [Paul Clay] went every single Saturday to Operation PUSH meetings and to this day they still have them every single Saturday and I continue that tradition by going at least once a month and writing a check at least once a month to say, you know this is where I come from and this is what matters to people and this is how you make a difference and how you make a change. I was involved with school politics. I ran for treasurer of our class and lost to another girl named Yvette Brown [ph.] who I see all the time and I am always thinking and she is like "Actually I was the secretary," and I'm like "Well didn't I run against you." She couldn't remember but I remember I lost to another Yvette how could that be and there was not even that many Yvettes in our school. But I was active but I was also very social. I loved to dance and there were many places that we went at night and just had a good time and I watched my brother go from Brooks Brothers to a Gouster [style of dress] look to--which was a sign of the times. I watched him and understood what boys were about.$And so that--the second year we changed the name to Real Men Cook because we felt that that had more movement. We had, we heard that there was some movement like that in Los Angeles [California] called Real Men Cook but they hadn't incorporated the name and it wasn't--and we, we had our first event on Father's Day and that was what I was telling Lana that what I wanted to do was have something that combines--creates a new tradition and if we claim Father's Day now we can talk about the responsible African American fathers. Not fathers that have left their children or the media making it sound like any man that left his children wants to. We can talk about the heart of men and why they--maybe they might not be in the same household with their children which was our goal with our own children to show them that Father's Day is important. Being a father is important. It doesn't matter that our family is blended and looks different than other families but we are a family. We are cohesive and we'll all get together on Father's Day. So the kids, their moms, my son's [Rael Jackson] father would all be at Real Men Cook every year and that continued and we are now entering our twenty-fifth year of Real Men Cook. Next year 2014 will be the twenty-fifth year. But over the years we've been able to--with the proceeds of that event and the years--the early years was just wonderful because we could tell someone at a corporation this story and this vision that black men love their children as much as any other man. That black men don't leave their children because they want to. They leave their children because of social, economic conditions that would preclude them from staying in the home. Now we know forty years later that those conditions include mass incarceration of African American males with little infractions of the law. Little things like possession of a controlled substances and small amounts of them where other populations in the country get a pat on the back or get told to drive home and be careful. Our men, our fathers went to jail and that became the beginning of the breakdown of the family. So we knew twenty-five years ago there was something wrong and we knew it wasn't because men wanted to leave their families. We also knew that the social structure with public aid and we've been in a lot of economic depressions like we are experiencing now, really experiencing long run. But in those other times the social systems were set up so that women were better off if they didn't admit that they had a man in the household because they could get money to buy their groceries for their children. So and sometimes it would be like you have to leave, man and this is the story of 'Claudine' the movie, you have to leave the house because I have to take care of the children. And when the jobs were hard to get the man would say, well I'm not a man because who I am in the capitalistic system is so tied into what's in my wallet that I can't stay here and raise my head high without a job, and he would leave. Thinking that he would come back. That he would work things out. Something would change but nothing changed because the situation just got worse with this mass incarceration and with the economy and the inequality. Never getting where we thought it would be during [Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King's, [Jr.] time. And there was a subversive movement to take away the African American male out of our family. Women could work but it created a situation where women were angry and left alone and their children were without a father. So Real Men Cook--the food is the hook, the food is the hook and the reason people come and the transformation that takes place when they get there is they remember that men care. They remember that if they didn't grow with a biological father that there was somebody on that block that reached out to them or maybe it was the coach, or maybe it was the minister and maybe if they didn't have that experience two generations down the road with this infraction this situation that's come up where we don't know why at this point, why black men aren't doing this around stepping up to the plate. They can get that feeling that they're cared for and that there are brothers in the communities that go invisible every single day of their lives and it is an opportunity for men to donate, to pass up Father's Day pampering to make a difference.