Feb. 7, 2016

You'd Better Go Ask Somebody Did You Say Power Couple

Everyone seemingly knows what today is? It’s Super Bowl Sunday the day when most of America white, black, red, and yellow, jew, gentile, and the unbelievers all lay down all of the animist and bitterness for the sake of a professional football game. It could have been easy for me to work on an essay related around that professional sporting event. Heck, I’ve watched all now 50 games beginning with year one Packers versus Chiefs in 1966 a game in which my beloved Baltimore Colts should’ve represented the National Conference has not both Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo not been injured forcing my Colts to use the next man up formula. The Colts sent in Tom Matte to play quarterback in the conference semifinals only to lose the game when a field goal kicked by Don Chandler went obviously wide left was called good sending the Packers to play the Dallas Cowboys for the right to play in Super Bowl 1. That however isn’t the purpose of this musing this morning. I just needed to add just a little athletic flavor to my you had better ask somebody post today.

You see before even Rosa Parks decided to take that seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama; before even the Brown versus the Board of Education decision that outlawed segregation in public schools; before Emmitt Till was savagely murdered in Mississippi for supposedly flirting with Carolyn Bryant; before even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took over the parsonage of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama; before even Medgar Evers took the field secretary position for the NAACP in Mississippi; twelve years before the March on Washington in 1963 and the opening the doors of Central Florida University; twenty years before the first admission tickets were sold to an amusement park featuring a comical mouse character and mouse girl friend Minnie; 22 years before the Sea World Theme Park opened ; 39 years before Universal Studios Theme Park opened. The county of Brevard in Central Florida was a seething hotbed of racism, oppression, and repression towards people of color. Jim Crow was indeed in full effect and no one of color was fool enough to threaten the forces that carried out justice in that area of the state at time it seemed. It was dangerous, deadly business for any black person to face the powers of overt racism because you could as easily been lynched and forgotten since no white person would be criminally charged if they decided to eliminate and/or silence your voice.

Today our communities talk of power political couples like the Obama’s Michelle and Barack, cinema power couples Jada and Will Smith, musical enterprising power couples Bey and Jay Z, Kimye, Wade and Union. Well, let’s talk about a true fearless couple that operated in the deepest darkest recesses of vile hatred this morning.   This couple looked people with murderous intent directly in the eyes of injustice on a daily basis in the state of Florida in the 1930’, 1940’s and 1950’s .  A time when that state’s history when no Mickey or Minnie or Hogwarts existed Florida didn’t care what your educational or economic background was if you were a person of color. Someone of color who stood up was more likely to be beaten down than have their righteous pleads adjudicated. In Florida if you decided that enough injustice was enough and you were black.  Well, the act of standing up and standing down to prejudice and oppression simply wasn’t fathomable. As it related to standing up for yourself and your people and you were black even many in our black communities at the time advised against it.. You had might as well have signed the warrant for execution. Because those who dished out injustice and oppression towards black people simply would put a direct deadly target on your back and the back of your loved ones. Harry T. and Harriette Moore were regular Americans who simply wanted to live out the fruits of their labor in a free and just society. They were both educators by trade but more than that they were determined power liberators for black people in Brevard County and the entire state of Florida. 

The Moore’s could’ve easily chosen to accept the fate that Jim Crow and segregation had dealt them. Harry was the Principal of Titusville Colored School and his wife Harrietta a classroom teacher. They had many friends, two children to rise and easily could’ve meshed into the communities around Daytona Beach without any trouble. Yet, these two individuals were power liberators for justice. The Moore’s sought no demanded equality of treatment, and fought the total dissection of Jim Crow in the Sunshine State . This in a time when in many cases their two voices were the lone voices of dissension. Today when racist police officers kill innocent black men the black community reacts swiftly to exposed the guilty. Well my brothers and sisters in 1949 that wasn’t the case for so many blacks living in the throes of an unjust society in communities across this country. Black people had been terrorized and  whipped down so mercifully by the evils of oppression and repression. That whether they were male of female neither could hardly stand straight and look the face of oppression and hatred square dead in the eye. No way would these white racist stand nor accept any black person who defied them in open public opposition. Well the Moore’s they indeed stood straight when others in the communities bowed. These two magnificent black people stood tall facing the belly of the beast of hatred. They defied his power and ignored his threats. Oh I’m sure they had fear because no one wants to be murdered in cold blood. Everyone wants to live out their lives and fulfill dreams of accomplishment. No the Moore’s decided to stand tall so that others would eventually learn how to stand firm against those who oppressed.

These were power warriors facing not some glitzy white person for not yielding support for their roles in inconsequential movies. These two warriors understood that when they stood straight it meant that either one of them would most likely be victims to the murderous intent of racists whites. They choose to stand straight so that their children, and the children of those they knew had trouble standing would never have to bow to repression and oppression. So as the heat built up on their activities those who feared justice would take hold took action. Somewhere in the bowels of entrenched hatred the decision was made against these two; end it end it now. So on a Christmas night in 1951 a bomb exploded under the bedroom of these power liberating warriors for justice. That keg of dynamite killed both as they rested peacefully that most holiest of nights. Yes, Christmas night the night we celebrate the birth of the King of Kings, the ultimate peace warrior. Yes they’s say kill them that night was call. It was also the anniversary of their marriage twenty five years of life together. The deadly blast silenced these voices these two power pioneers of justice. This act of domestic terrorism never was prosecuted. Although four investigations were opened and closed by Florida seeking justice and punishment for those involved. No one would ever be prosecuted for their murders. However, the spirit of the Moore’s continues to live on in Brevard County, Florida at the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex. The next time you visit Orlando’s Universal Studio and/or Disney World stop by and pay homage to these two power warriors for justice. In addition think about this before there was a Evers, King, Malcolm, Young, Parks, Stockily, Brown, Seale , Newton, Davis, Jackson, Hutton, Bond, or any of the others that made moves in the mid 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s there was the Moore’s Harry T. and Henrietta. You had better go ask somebody if you don’t know.  These two souls are indeed power super couple for the ages too remember. They are yours, mine, and everyone’s American legends that should be placed high on the pedestal of justice seekers.