The Story of the Moores

Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore were the leading civil rights activists in Florida and the nation during the 1030s and 40s.

Activists & Advocators

The Moores were the first true civil rights activists of the modern civil rights era in the State of Florida. Harry organized the first Brevard County branch of the NAACP in 1934 and became its president. He would later coordinate chapters throughout the state, and in 1941 became President of the Florida Conference of NAACP branches.

 

In 1945 Moore formed the Florida Progressive Voter's League and became its Executive Director. The league was instrumental in helping register over 100,000 black voters in the State of Florida.

 

As the head of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, Harry T. Moore led the fight against injustices on behalf of the state's African American population on a number of fronts, including voting rights and the equalization of pay for the state's black teachers.

 

Significantly, Moore also served as a forceful advocate against racial violence and lynching in Florida. His efforts in bringing attention to the lynching of the African American teenager Willie James Howard in 1944 and to the miscarriage of justice in the Groveland Rape case in 1949 are vivid examples of his activism on this front. Moore's vocal criticism of the failures of the criminal justice system—especially the ineptitude and complicity of law enforcement and the racism that permeated the courts—offered a much-needed critique of the tragic intersection of Jim Crow and civil rights violations.

The Bomb on
Christmas Night 

On Christmas Night, 1951, a bomb exploded under the bedroom of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore’s home in Mims, Florida. The couple had gone to bed after celebrating both Christmas and their 25th wedding anniversary. Mr. Moore was killed in the blast; Mrs. Moore died nine days later.

The Legacy Lives 

A replica of their home now stands in place on the very site of the original home. The interior is designed to look the same way it did on that tragic day of the bombing.

 

The story of the Moores is now told over and over again.

The plight of Harry T. Moore and Harriette V. Moore and their roles in drawing state and federal attention to injustices and inequalities will never be forgotten.

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