Avis Thomas-Lester of the Washington Post is reporting the story of Evangeline Moore, 81, who is still seeking justice for the murder of her parents on Christmas day in Orlando, Fla., in 1951. Moore's father, Harry, was a civil rights activist who was investigating the lynching of blacks in Florida at the time of the murders.
It was on Christmas 1951, shortly after 10 p.m., that someone, likely a Klansman, lighted the fuse to a massive explosive charge rigged under the family’s home in Mims, about 40 miles from Orlando.
Evangeline, then 21 and working in the District as a clerk typist for the federal government, learned the tragic details when she arrived in Florida two days after Christmas, expecting a joyous family reunion.
Her father had been killed by the blast that leveled their home; her mother, Harriette V. Moore, would die nine days later.
Nearly 12 years before Medgar Evers was fatally shot, 14 years before Malcolm X was slain and 17 years before Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Harry Moore became an important early martyr for civil rights.
The murders prompted world-renowned poet Langston Hughes to write a poem about Harry Moore. Evangeline Moore, who now lives in Bowie, Md., has spent the better part of her life trying to get investigators to find her parents' killers. At age 81, she is not giving up.
"I think that God has left me here all these years to get justice for my dad and my mom," she said. "The whole course of my family's history changed when they killed my parents. I won't stop until somebody is held accountable."
Moore's tenacity is admirable, especially given that at an age where most people would certainly be winding down, she is still winding up. With the spirit of her parents moving through her, she continues to fight for what is right, which is that their killers be brought to justice. Hopefully she will get the resolution that she seeks and the peace that she has been denied with the senseless murder of her parents on that Christmas night.
Read more at the Washington Post.