THE PRICE FOR FREEDOM | THE PLAY

THE LIVES AND DEATHS OF HARRY T. AND HARRIETTE V. MOORE

The first civil rights martyrs, 1951

There are many well-known figures whose names have become synonymous with the civil rights movement of the 20th century. Many that have truly paid “The Price for Freedom”. Martin Luther King Jr. Rosa Parks. Malcolm X. Medgar Evans. Emmett Till. The list sadly goes on. Two names that are not as easily recognized by most are the very first martyrs of the civil rights movement – and the only married couple to be assassinated for the cause. Educator, activists, and civil rights leaders Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette V. S. Moore.

At 10:20pm, on a foggy December 25th in 1951, a bomb exploded under their small shotgun style home on the outskirts of Mims, Florida – directly under their bedroom. It was both Christmas day, and Harry and Harriette’s 25th wedding anniversary. 

Harry T. Moore died on his way to the hospital in Sanford, FL in a car being driven by his brother-in-law George Simms. Harriet’s death came 9 days later, just after saying final goodbyes to her husband at the mortuary.

The story of the Moores is one that is equal parts civil rights history, and a personal tale of love, commitment and family. Sadly, it is a story that has for decades receded into dim memory.  And yet the voices of these two pioneering leaders in the early struggle for civil rights call out through the decades not to be forgotten.

 

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Special Thanks

We wish to thank Gregory Marquette, the author of the book "The Bomb Heard Around The World" which inspired this play, "The Price For Freedom". In addition, we would like to offer thanks to the staff of the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Memorial Cultural Complex, Inc - including Sonya Mallard and Carshonda Wright, as well as U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist for continuing to believe.

Clarence Rowe

President Central Brevard County NAACP

“He was walking into the lion’s den. To do what he did back then when the Klan was operating free rein, was suicide.
He knew he was dead from jump street.”

(Baird, Concord Monitor, 10/28/2018 “Harry T. Moore is a man worth remembering.”)

Leon W. Russle

Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors

“This is a particularly important time to explore the life and commitment to civil and human rights lived by Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette. I consider them to be the first true martyrs of the modern Civil Rights Era. Their assassination by White Supremacists was the result of their work equalizing teacher pay; investigating instances of police misuse of force and abuse of black citizens; and ultimately their efforts to register black voters. All of these efforts were a threat to the white power structure. Though these efforts brought about their murders, their efforts were all ultimately successful for the black community.
They fought and they won.”

October 1, 2019

United States Congressman Charlie Crist,

Florida’s 13th District

“Harry and Harriette Moore are important figures in the civil rights movement. Shining a light on their story, bringing closure to their untimely, horrific deaths, will keep their work and legacy alive for generations to come. The words and example set by the Moore Family are more important now than ever. We need more people willing to stand in the gap of inequality to fight for what’s right. Their life’s work is an inspiration to us all.”

Walter Shaw

Producer Walter T. Shaw, the founder of Top Cat II Productions has spent the last 4 years painstakingly chronicling and archiving the life and assassination of Harry and Harriette Moore, and now joins with playwright John DiDonna to bring this tale of affecting personal tragedy and poignant historical sacrifice to the stage with their new work “The Price for Freedom”. In bringing this story to life, it also serves to chronicle the beginnings of the NAACP in Florida, the case of the Groveland Four, as well as the very start of what we now know as the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Moore Memorial Museum and Park

Visit the site for more information

https://www.harryharriettemoore.org/

JD Jackson

JD Jackson is an Actor, Audiobook Narrator, Educator and devoted family man. He honed his craft at Temple University, where he received his MFA. He's enjoyed success in the Film/Television industry, guest starring on such shows as House, ER, Law & Order, & Third Watch. He has won several awards for his audiobook narration, including several Earphones Awards, has been nominated for multiple Audie Awards including a nom for Best Male Narrator of the Year, and was recently inducted into Audiofile Magazine's Golden Voices Hall of Fame. The Bomb Heard Around the World is a book on the lives and deaths of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore. It is available in hardcover and has recently been published as an audiobook. JD Jackson is the acclaimed narrator chosen for the project.

Moore Memorial Museum and Park

Visit the site for more information

https://www.harryharriettemoore.org/

TOP CAT II PRODUCTIONS PUBLISHING GROUP

The Orlando Times article

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