“What a man does for himself dies with him, but, what a man does for his community lives forever,” said Harry Tyson Moore, a civil rights leader who founded the Brevard County Chapter and was president of the Florida Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1950. Moore and his wife, Harriette, died in 1951 after a bomb placed under their home exploded on Christmas Eve.
Harry T. Moore was the first NAACP member and official to be assassinated for civil rights activism. While the murder was reportedly carried out by the Ku Klux Klan, no arrests were ever made. However, their story is recorded in “The Bomb Heard Around the World,” written by author Gregory Marquette, and supported by Walter Shaw, producer and founder of Top Cat II Production Films, LLC, which is currently developing a documentary about the couple. Pre-production of a Broadway play has also begun.
Shaw has also commissioned busts of the Harry T. Moore and Harriette V. Moore and U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist, which are being created by sculptor, artist Barry S. Anderson. The busts will be unveiled during a ceremony at the African American Research Library & Cultural Center, on Sistrunk Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, on February 22nd.
Active in the Florida chapter of the NAACP from the early 1930s, Harry T. Moore greatly increased the number of NAACP members. He was a civil rights advocate who worked for better housing and education, including equal pay for black teachers. He pursued justice by investigating lynchings and led the Progressive Voters League, increasing the number of registered black voters in Florida.
Former Attorney General and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist reopened the criminal case of his death almost 50 years later. In a video clip, Crist recounts, “The facts of the case are so tragic in and of themselves – that a bomb would be set beneath their bedroom, that they would be blown up on Christmas evening, which happened to also be their 25th wedding anniversary – my sense at the time was that a horrible injustice had been done and trying to find resolution to that injustice was paramount. I think generally people were pleased that the tragic deaths of these civil rights pioneers could finally be laid at the feet of some people who actually perpetrated the crime. They had some odd conclusions to their own life. There was one who actually committed suicide after he had been interviewed by the FBI. And two of them died almost exactly a year to the date after the bombings occurred. It’s kind of eerie, but I think the daughter said herself that God has dealt with them in his way.”
Because of it’s significance, there is a push to include The Bomb Heard Around the World in public school libraries throughout the country.
Shaw said he was compelled to pursue the project in order to make people aware of these important historical events. “I only do projects that move the consciousness of man,” said Shaw. “While this is the story of Harry and Harriette Moore — it is also a story for today. Racial injustices of yesteryear relate directly to today’s current events.”
To learn more, visit www.thebombheardaroundtheworld.com.