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Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore. COURTESY THE NAACP

The West Volusia Branch NAACP and the African American Association of Deltona will host a memorial luncheon in honor of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at New Hope Baptist Church, 2855 Lake Helen Osteen Road in Deltona. 

The Moores were civil rights activists who were murdered when their house in Mims was bombed on Christmas night 1951. 

Harry T. Moore was a key organizer of Central Florida NAACP branches, led a voter-registration movement for Black voters, and convinced famous civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall to argue the case for the Groveland Four. 

The Groveland Four were a group of young Black men falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1949. Sheriff Willis McCall of Lake County shot two of the young men, killing one, as they awaited a new trial in November 1951. Harry Moore then called for McCall’s suspension. Only one month later, a bomb went off in the Moores’ home in Mims on Christmas night, fatally injuring the couple.

The Moores also fought for equal pay for Black teachers. Harry T. Moore was fired from his job as Brevard County Negro High School principal for leading a successful legislative move for equal pay in 1943. 

It wasn’t until 2021 that the Brevard County School Board passed a resolution honoring the Moores and acknowledging their unfair firing. On Nov. 22, 2021, the Groveland Four were posthumously exonerated by a Florida judge. 

In news reports at the time of the bombing, members of Moores family and close friends were quoted as saying Harry Moore was “too active” in politics and civil rights.

Despite the involvement of the FBI in the investigation, the perpetrators were never caught.

Tickets to the annual memorial luncheon cost $15 for adults, and $10 for youth age 18 and younger. For more information, call Mike Williams at 386-804-6136.

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