Earth, Wind and Toi By Angela Mains | Photo shoot by Amy Dawnelle, additional photos courtesy of Toi Moore
When your husband is a member of the legendary R&B band Earth, Wind and Fire, and you refer to songstress Anita Baker as a close personal friend, an outsider could think it was a struggle for you to find your own identity. But not for Toi Moore. She is very clear about who she is in the amazing life she has built for herself. Toi is a wife, mother, manicurist, pie baker, writer of more than 350 magazine and newspaper articles, and author of eight books. A California girl, Toi was born and raised in San Diego where she met her husband Greg “G. Moe” Moore over 30 years ago. At the time, Greg was playing guitar for Patrice Rushen, whose song “Forget Me Nots” topped the billboards in the 1980s. He and Toi met at a Rushen concert when he presented her with tickets a friend had reserved for her. During the 30 years they’ve been married, Greg has performed with icons such as Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, and Michael Jackson, to name a few. Greg is now a permanent fixture with Earth, Wind and Fire.
to a professional level. She began her writing career at a newspaper in San Bernardino. “I found that people really enjoyed my writing and it motivated me to keep at it,” she said. Her opportunities soon took off and she began writing for magazines such as Billboard which led to many memorable interviews including musicians, political officials, and other celebrities. It was an interview she heard with one of her favorite novelists, Judith Krantz, that moved her to try her hand at more in-depth writing. And she was on her way to writing plays, screen plays and novels.
When their two sons Kenan and Amon were young, Greg’s career required him to travel much of the time, and Toi provided stability at home, raising the boys. During this period she delved into an early passion of hers … writing. “I first discovered I could write when I was in high school,” she said, remembering the acclaim she received from an English teacher for her essay about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Her first book started as a screen play that dealt with domestic violence. “Writing the book was therapeutic,” she recalls. The story came from a place Toi knew all too well. “My mom was a victim of domestic violence. A character in the book was actually me as a five-year-old, seeing my mother abused by my stepfather, and being unable to help. I poured out my feelings in the story, releasing emotions that had been bottled up for years.” The end of the book provides information about how and where to get help, “because many people keep this type of thing to themselves,” Toi said. One step led to another, and she found herself speaking at high schools and domestic abuse shelters. She felt the need to talk directly with young women and explain how abuse can affect their lives and impact their children.
Over the next years, Toi’s writing branched to poems, postcards and greeting cards, and she began to realize that she had more than a love for writing, she had a true gift. Encouraged by her friend Anita Baker who told her, “You are able to write emotion that most people have a hard time putting in words,” Toi eventually took her writing
February 2014 • 9
Published on Feb 7, 2014
Published on Feb 7, 2014
LoLa stands for Local Ladies. We are a women's magazine for the Temecula Valley area of southern California. In our February issue, we are...