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1 Burnside African American Studies- Civil Rights Movement

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Before His Time: The Untold Story of Harry T. Moore, America's First Civil Rights Martyr

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Before His Time: The Untold Story of Harry T. Moore, America's First Civil Rights Martyr Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fifty years ago — before Martin Luther King, Jr., began to preach from his pulpit in Montgomery, Alabama, the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, or Rosa Parks's famous bus ride — a man named Harry T. Moore toiled in Jim Crow Florida on behalf of the NAACP and the Progressive Voters' League. For seventeen years, in an era of official indifference and outright hostility, the soft-spoken but resolute Moore traveled the backroads of the state on a mission to educate, evangelize, and organize. But on Christmas night in 1951, in a small orange grove in tiny Mims, Florida, a bomb placed under a bed ended Harry Moore's life. Although his daughters, Peaches and Evangeline, survived, his wife, Harriette, died of her wounds a week later. Unjustly neglected until now, Moore's death stands as the first in what was to be a long and tragic line of assassinations in the civil rights movement.

It was Moore's defense of the Groveland Four — black youths accused, under murky circumstances, of raping a white woman in Lake County — that drew the wrath of the Ku Klux Klan and pitted him against one of the most feared and vilified sheriffs in the country. Two of the Groveland Four were shot — one fatally — in the custody of Sheriff Willis McCall, who despite fifty investigations and a litany of racial scandals would remain in office for nearly thirty years. Ben Green revisits the people and circumstances surrounding Harry Moore's death, and brings alive a cast of characters worthy of Harper Lee or Flannery O'Connor. But as we journey through time with Green, we see all too vividly that police beatings, suppressed evidence, complicit juries, and angry mobs comprise an unforgettable part of our recent past, and even our present.

The governor of Florida reopened the case of Harry Moore's murder in 1991. Although the investigation revealed for the first time that the Klan was almost certainly responsible for Moore's death, no one was put behind bars. Bringing a fresh eye to the newly available FBI files, Green offers a reckoning of the good and the bad, the villainous and the virtuous. His shocking book helps us to reclaim the past, as far as we are capable of knowing it, even when complete and final justice eludes us. It also offers a poignant testimony to all the unsung heroes who, like Harry Moore, were long-forgotten early martyrs to the cause of civil rights and racial justice.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 257-294) and index.

About the Author

Ben Green, a freelance writer and journalist, is on the faculty of Florida State University. He is the author of Finest Kind, for which he was recognized as a Bread Loaf Fellow, and The Soldier of Fortune Murders, which served as the basis for a CBS ministries. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Tracie Schneider, and their two daughters, Emily and Eliza.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13: "Who Killed Harry T. Moore?"
Afterword
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684854533
Subtitle:
THE UNTOLD STORY OF HARRY T. MOORE, AMERICA'S FIRST CIVIL RIGHTS MARTYR
Author:
Green, Ben
Publisher:
Free Press
Location:
New York, NY :
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
History
Subject:
Afro-americans
Subject:
Civil Rights
Subject:
Florida
Subject:
Civil rights workers
Subject:
Trials
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/50s
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
Trials (Rape) -- Florida -- Groveland.
Subject:
African American civil rights workers
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Civil Rights
Subject:
Murder - General
Publication Date:
19990411
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 19.648 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » Civil Rights Movement
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General

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