Harry T. Moore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Justice Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Civil Rights Activist Harry T. and Harriette Moore
On Christmas night 1951, Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette retired to bed in their white frame house tucked inside a small orange grove in Mims, Florida. Ten minutes later, a bomb shattered their house, their lives, and any notions that the South’s post-war transition to racial equality would be a smooth one. Harry Moore died that night, his wife nine days later.
Harry T. Moore paved the way for the ‘60s civil rights movement by championing equal pay for black teachers, organizing the black vote and, publicly condemning racist attitudes and actions of local, state and national officials.
Despite a massive FBI investigation and repeated inquisitions, the murders of Harry and Harriette Moore have never been solved. http://www.der.org/films/freedom-never-dies.html
The work of Harry T. Moore was progressive in a time when blacks were not taking actions against systematic racial inequality. A fighter for the people, Harry T. Moore just wanted to see fairness in all aspects of life not only in Brevard County, Florida but throughout the state.
In 1934, Harry Moore started the Brevard County NAACP, and steadily built it into a formidable organization. In 1937, in conjunction with the all-black Florida State Teacher’s Association, and backed by the NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall in New York, Moore filed the first lawsuit in the Deep South to equalize black and white teacher salaries.
n 1944, Thurgood Marshall won a major victory in the landmark Smith v. Allwright case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “lily-white” Democratic Party primary was unconstitutional. Harry Moore immediately organized the Progressive Voters’ League, and in the next six years, due primarily to his leadership, over 116,000 black voters were registered in the Florida Democratic Party. This represented 31 percent of all eligible black voters in the state, a figure that was 51% higher than any other southern state. http://www.pbs.org/harrymoore/harry/mbio.html
The lead roles that Harry T. Moore assumed in the political advancements cost both Harry and his wife Harriette their teaching jobs. Harry then increased his presence in the NAACP as a full-time worker, recruiting new members and taking on controversial issues as lynching and police brutality. It was the unwavering stance of Harry T. Moore that often put him in the line of fire and many would offer led to his death on Christmas in 1951.
Breaking down barriers and raising awareness of the inequities was the calling card of the educator, turned political activist. Harry T. Moore with his wife Harriette by right his side, worked unselfishly in the struggle to make a difference in the lives of southern blacks. Today and forever we salute the efforts of Harry T. and Harriette Moore in the civil rights movement.
Today marks the one year anniversary of the murder of 17 -year old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. The unarmed teen was gunned down as he walked home. Trayvon’s death has brought to light the use of the “Stand Your Ground” defense.
Celebrate all the heritage, history, and highlights of the African-Americans during the month of February
Write your Story. Join the Orlando Renaissance Writers Guild. http://www.orwriters.org/ Purchase a copy of the collaborative book an “Anthology”
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