Dear Harry T. Moore,
If it’s true that the great die young, you had to know at an early age there was no time to waste on anything other than making a difference.
From the time you were born on November 18, 1905 in the undersized farm community of Houston Florida, you were struck with the unfortunate circumstance of so many Black children. The death of your father left you the son of a single mother, Rosa. She rolled up her sleeves to raise a nine year-old boy while picking cotton and running her own store.
Instead of failing because of your loss, you gained a healthy work ethic imitating your mother and continuing to model that spirit when she decided to let three aunts care for you in Jacksonville, FL at age 11. This progressive Black community encouraged the inquisitiveness that would later earn you the nickname “Doc” and benefit an immeasurable number of people.
After graduating from Florida Memorial College at 19, you built a fulfilling life, beautiful wife (Harriette Moore) promising career as a principal of Titusville Colored School, and two daughters, Annie Rosalea and Juanita Evangeline. When so many would have been satisfied, you were not.
How did you know that wasn’t enough for all to have equal opportunities in accomplishing the American dream?
That there was more to be done. How did you know the NAACP would need you to complete the unpleasant work only you were born to do? How did you know?
You helped spawn a dozen federal lawsuits that aided in the equalization of salaries after establishing the Brevard County NAACP in 1934. You continued to wrestle with injustice for over ten years, but during the latter part of this second career, you followed the path of most legends.
You entered the danger zone, fighting lynchings and police brutality with eloquent words, meaningful protesting and tireless investigation until 1951. That year on December 25th, the real-life Atticus Finch with skin the color of the clients he defended was killed when a bomb was placed under the floor of his bed.
There were countless acts that proved you did enough, but somehow I know there was more on your list. No need to fret, the to-do list is being checked and completed through your spirit that lives on. It lives in the civil rights leaders still fighting for equal rights.
It lives in the ardent law student, the student teacher, and those that realize the better woman or man for the job does not change because of skin color.
You were a springboard for future generations Doc, and with sincere gratitude,