Sixty years after the Christmas Day 1951 murder of her parents, Evangeline Moore hasn’t abandoned her search for justice.
Moore, now 81, was working in Washington, D.C. as a clerk typist for the federal government at the time, while her parents lived in Florida. Her father, Harry, was a civil rights activist who investigated lynchings of African Americans.
According to The Washington Post, someone set off an explosive at the Moore’s home in Mims, Fla. Harry Moore was killed instantly, while his wife, Harriette, died nine days later.
The Moores were very protective of their daughter due to their lives as civil rights activists, which she said made her family the targets of constant threats.
“We knew of no other way of life,” she told Michigan Tech News. “We were born into it. My father had a commitment to God and to the Black race. My mother was devoted to him, and we were sheltered.”
But those threats eventually turned into action. According to the Post, the Moores were fired from their jobs as teachers. Later, Harry Moore landed in further trouble when he called out a Florida sheriff for killing two Black suspects on the eve of their retrial for raping a White woman.
“When Harry Moore launched the investigation and tried to get federal intervention in Groveland, he crossed a line in a way the White power structure was not going to tolerate,” Paul Ortiz, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida, told the Post. “That’s why his [murder] case is so complicated.”
The Moore murder case was at one point closed, then reopened in 2006, before it was closed again two months ago.
Evangeline Moore said she will keep pushing for new information in the hope that someone will come forward, but also hoped that racial issues of the past will stay dead and gone.
“You can change laws, but that doesn’t change the heart or the person,” she told Michigan Tech News. “We’re now in a healing process, the Black and White races."
Moore added that ancestors of the two races, “should let us alone and let us be friends.”