Imagine a bomb placed in your home by the Ku Klux Klan, exploding, killing you and your family. This was Harry T. Moore’s fate, field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1951. After Moore’s death, the NAACP contacted Robert W. Saunders and asked him to take Moore’s position. Saunders successfully filled the position by fighting for school desegregation, equal pay for black teachers and integration of Florida’s schools.
Saunders will give a lecture today at 2 p.m. in the Grace Allen room in the Library to share his stories with the USF community. His lecture is titled, “Bridging the Gap: Continuing the Florida NAACP Legacy of Harry T. Moore.”
Mark Greenberg, director for the Library’s resource center for Florida History said Saunders is a historical figure in the Civil Rights Movement.
“(He) is a legend in the struggle for civil rights. He will share his stories,” Greenberg said. “And (he) is a man of enormous importance.”
Greenberg said USF students and the Tampa community who advocate for equal treatment, civil rights and those who want to learn more about these issues, will be enlightened by Saunders’ lecture.
In the mid 1960s, Saunders retired as field secretary of the NAACP and from 1966 to 1977 held the office of Chief of Civil Rights Division within the Office of Equal Opportunity in Atlanta.Saunders utilized his experience and expertise to oversee the eight states within the Southeast region. Continuing to be active, he calls students to get involved, as he did in the Civil Rights Movement.