The Moores investigated every lynching, 1943-1951, litigated for equal pay for African-American teachers, and registered 100,000 African-Americans to vote in the 1940s.
There's a precedent for having two figures on one Statuary Hall statue -- North Dakota has Sakajewa, with her baby on her back.
Let's make it happen!
Advocates want Harry T. Moore statue in U.S. Capitol
R. Norman Moody, FLORIDA TODAY 10:24 a.m. EDT May 6, 2016
A statue of slain pioneering civil rights leader Harry T. Moore could replace one of a Confederate general slated for removal from the National Statuary Hall, if a group's effort is successful. May 6, 2016 Wochit
A statue of slain pioneering civil rights leader Harry T. Moore could replace one of a Confederate general slated for removal from the National Statuary Hall, if a group's effort is successful.
The newly formed Harry T. Moore National Statuary Committee is leading a statewide push to recommend a statue of Moore to represent Florida in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The move comes after Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that will lead to the removal of the statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith from the collection. Statues representing other states have been replaced over the years.
"We want the right choice to represent Florida," said Sonya Mallard, coordinator of the Moore Cultural Center and a member of the committee. "He was a man of courage. He paid the ultimate price. He definitely paid the price for Florida."
Harry T. Moore a better Floridian for Statuary Hall
The committee's work is just starting with an effort to get statewide backing by asking cities and counties to pass resolutions in support of its recommendation. The work is starting in area where Moore had the closest connections — Brevard County, Suwannee County, where he was born, Jacksonville, where he spent time growing up and Daytona Beach, where he went to college. Organizers will push the effort statewide.
"What we hope it that we'll be able to raise the consciousness and awareness of people, including our legislators," said Bill Gary, president of the Moore Cultural Complex board. "He is the most deserving person to receive this honor."
Moore was a black educator, a pioneering leader of the civil rights movement. In 1934 he organized the first Brevard branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He organized the Florida state conference of the NAACP branches.
Through his affiliation with the Progressive Voters League he increased the number of black registered voters to 116,000 by the time of his death in 1951. He increased the registration of black voters in Florida to 31 percent of those eligible to vote, higher than in any other southern state.
Moore and his wife, Harriette V. Moore, also an educator, were the victims of a bombing of their home in Mims on Christmas night 1951. He died on the way to a hospital in Sanford and she died January 3, 1952.
The Moores were inducted into the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame and have buildings named after them, including the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Justice Center. Their history is included in the fourth grade Sunshine State Standard curriculum and in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, opening in September.
"He's like an unsung hero," Mallard said. "A lot of people don't know about his legacy. He died but his dream lives on."
After the governor's signature began the process of removal of the Smith Statue, the effort to find a replacement started. A state committee is expected to select three people and send the names to the Legislature, which will chose one that would then likely be approved by the governor.
Smith served in the Army after graduating from United States Military Academy. He later resigned from the Army to join the Confederate forces. He became chancellor of the University of Nashville and professor of mathematics at the University of the South.
Gary said the local committee will do all that it can to get a statue of Moore in the National Statuary Hall. Each state is allowed two. Another representing Florida is John Gorrie, considered the father of refrigeration and air conditioning.
"It would be a testament to the progress we've made that we do recognize citizens to be equal," Gary said. "We still have some issues and challenges, but I think we can say we've made a lot of progress."
Contact Moody at 321242-3651 or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @RNormanMoody or on Facebook at facebook.com/norman.moody.79