By Maria Boynton

“I am moving to Monroe”, that’s why Georgia State Representative Tyrone Brooks says the 2015 legislative session will likely be his last. Brooks, who has represented Atlanta at the Georgia Capitol for 35 years says, “I’m going to devote my time fully to developing the Moore’s Ford Memorial Educational Learning Center.” He says it will be a museum with the learning center as a part of it.

The Moore’s Ford Bridge Lynchings happened in the north Georgia town in 1946. Four African-Americans died, two married couples. One of the wives was several months pregnant. George and Mae Murray Dorsey and Roger and Dorothy Dorsey Malcom had been beaten and shot. Brooks, who has worked to bring the killers to justice, is quoted as saying, “The suspects and the witnesses are getting old and dying. They’re feeble, they’re old, they’re suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

Brooks says the Moore’s Ford Movement, which includes the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, and NAACP, have identified a building for the museum. “It’s an old school administration office building that sits right behind First African Baptist Church”, said Brooks. He adds that they’ve been meeting at the church since 1968, “that’s when Hosea Williams assigned me over there.” Brooks says the Moore’s Ford incident was part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s agenda when he was assassinated. The longtime activist says of First African Baptist Church, “It’s like our Ebenezer over there.”

I talked with Brooks about the movement and the issue that he says was “dear to Dr. King’s legacy and to me. I just can’t allow it to fall apart. It’s going to require my full attention.” According to Brooks, “We want people to understand that this was a voting rights revolution, 20 years before Selma.” I was at the Gold Dome speaking with him about his efforts at getting a statue of Dr. King on the grounds of the state capitol.

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