By S-Dot for The S-Dot Files
Civil Rights Activist Harry Tyson Moore was murdered in a bombing on Christmas in 1951 in Titusville, Florida with his faithful wife Harriette V. Moore while asleep in their bedroom. The cowardly killers stole their gift of life 59 years ago. This was the 12th race-related bombing in the state that year. Moore pursued justice for the “Groveland Four” who were accused of raping a white woman in July of 1949. One of the accused was killed during the Madison County manhunt; another was killed while in the sheriff’s custody traveling along Highway 146, and a third was gravely injured as well.
Despite the harsh reality of the times, Harry T. Moore stood up for his people. Florida may have been a ‘tropical paradise” for some of unearned privilege, but for oppressed people it was filled with terror as racists routinely killed and maimed those simply trying to enjoy the gift of life. As racists distributed “coon cards” for the holidays depicting Blacks in demoralizing illustrations, Harry T. Moore continued to resist racial oppression. Many of these symbols of tyranny are considered collector’s items today and are prized memorabilia to those who hold onto their heritage of hatred against Black people.
The Honorable Harry T. Moore was born a native of Houston, Florida on November 18th 1905 and is today remembered with the Harry T. Moore Social Service Center. Located in Titusville, Florida the center provides outreach social services such as; housing rehabilitation, assisted-living for the disabled, family counseling and early learning services for the community and serves as a reminder for the sacrificial life of service and commitment to the liberation of oppressed people by Harry T. Moore.
He graduated from Florida Memorial College, taught in Cocoa, Florida and went on to become principal of the Titusville Colored School. A champion for change, Harry T. Moore launched the Brevard County chapter of the NAACP in 1934 to address the unfair wages and lynchings of Black people. 10 years later in 1944, he formed the Florida Progressive Voters League which enabled disenfranchised people to use the ballot to protest the horrible day-to-day conditions they faced in the racially divided South. A community organizer, his efforts led to him being fired in 1946, but he was not deterred. Moore continued his mission to improve the conditions of his people. In 1948, he was rewarded with the great accomplishment of helping the NAACP register 10,000 people in the state of Florida.
Poet Langston Hughes read verses composed to honor Moore at an NAACP event:
Florida means land of flowers
It was on a Christmas night
In the state named for the flowers
Men came bearing dynamite...
It could not be in Jesus’ name
Beneath the bedroom floor
On Christmas night the killers
Hid the bomb for Harry Moore.
The group Sweet Honey In The Rock immortalized Harry T. Moore with their song The Ballad of Harry Moore which has the infectious chorus “Freedom never dies.”
( ( ( sDOTtv ) ) ) now playing SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK “The Ballade of Harry Moore”
Rest In Peace the Honorable Harry T. Moore and Faithful Harriette V. Moore – Black Love