Educator and true pioneer of the civil rights movement, Harry T. Moore has been described as “a man before his time”.
Although Moore and his wife, Harriette V. Moore, were murdered when a bomb exploded under their home on Christmas Eve 1951, their legacy lives on and is taught at the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex in Mims.
The centre’s permanent and rotating exhibits serve to educate visitors through historical collections about the impact of Moore’s legacy and current civil and human rights issues.
January exhibits include a table depicting the life of assassinated civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday is celebrated on January 17.
âIt contains stimulating images for discussion,â said Sonya Mallard, coordinator of the cultural center.
Visits by the curators take place every two hours. Appointments are suggested, but unguided tours are welcome.
Group tours include a movie, an Underground Railroad quilt, a tour of the Chronological Museum (1860-1964), a tour of the Moore House replica, a walk on the Civil Rights Trail, and a gift shop .
Mallard is particularly moved by the replica of the Underground Railroad Quilt.
“Secret codes, sewn into patches on the quilt, guided the fleeing slaves on their journey to freedom.” she said. “Each patch had a different symbol that showed slaves the important steps they needed to take.”
Moore’s work predated major civil rights laws, such as the 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, ending racial segregation in public schools.
Moore founded and served as the first Brevard County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He helped register thousands of black voters.
The cultural complex named after Moore includes a cultural center, a replica of Moore’s house, and a memorial park. Free entry.
Cultural center manager Carshonda K. Wright runs tours that include the replica of Moore’s house, located about 10 feet from its original site.
âA house gives us a glimpse into the personality of a person or a family,â she said, citing one example. Ms. Moore brought a table from Ohio where she had worked. It’s round and everyone is seated tied.
Notable guests included the late lawyer, civil rights activist and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
âHe stayed here to strategize with Mr. Moore on historical cases,â Wright said.
The cultural complex is located at 2180 Freedom Ave. in Mims. For more information call 321-264-6595 or visit harryharriettemoore.org