|Daisy Moore and Marietta Bryant taught in the segregated schools in the mining towns of Globe and Miami. In 1951, following the passage of a statute giving school boards the option to desegregate, the Globe and Miami school boards voted to close their towns' African American schools and then dismissed Moore and Bryant. With legal assistance from their union, the Arizona Education Association, the two teachers won their case and returned to integrated classrooms in 1952.
Region: North Central
Theme: Women in Education
|Daisy Moore and Marietta Bryant were African American teachers who taught in segregated schools in the mining towns of Globe and Miami. Both had been educated in Oklahoma and moved to Arizona in the 1940s to accept teaching positions here. They became well respected by their students and colleagues and active members of the Arizona Education Association, a teachers' union.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, some Arizonans organized to push for school integration. In March of 1951, the Arizona State Legislature passed a new statute that gave school boards the option to desegregate. It was signed into law by Governor Howard Pyle. Although school districts in Phoenix and Tucson did not desegregate at this time, school board members in Globe and Miami voted to close their town's African American schools and dismiss Daisy Moore and Marietta Bryant from their teaching jobs. The teachers were unemployed for one year but worked with the Arizona Education Association (AEA) who hired an attorney to represent them in a suit filed against the Globe and Miami school districts. On December 11, 1951, Superior Court Judge W. E. Patterson ruled in favor of Daisy Moore and Marietta Bryant, agreeing that their dismissals were null and void; their teachers' contracts were still in force, and the teachers could recover their costs. They returned to integrated classrooms in Globe and Miami schools the following school year. Daisy Moore taught at the Noftsger School until her retirement from the Globe School District in 1975. Marietta Bryant taught at the Bullion Plaza Elementary School and like Moore, retired from the Miami School District in 1975.
These dedicated teachers withstood the inequities of segregated schools and earned the love and respect of their African American students and their families. They remained active in their teachers' union and garnered the respect of their colleagues. When desegregation occurred, they were caught up in a process of change and discrimination which could have resulted in their teaching careers ending in Globe and Miami. Through their own persistence and with assistance from the AEA, they were able to continue to work in their chosen profession.
The Bullion Plaza Elementary School has been transformed into a museum in Miami. It was formally known as the "Mexican School," and functioned as the elementary school for Mexican and Mexican American children. Marietta Bryant taught in this school after it was integrated and Daisy Moore lived nearby. It is a fitting place to recognize these two excellent teachers. Visit the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum at 1000 Plaza Ave, Miami.
Marietta Bryant and Daisy Moore - Courtesy of Carlos Moore
Bullion Plaza Elementary School - Courtesy of Cuentos y Memorias Collection, Chicano/a Research Collection, Arizona State University Libraries