At the time, Ann Arbor's Black population was very small (It is still less than 9%.) and there had been racial incidents in the city and schools. When our son, David, graduated from high school in 1974, he had less than 15 Black students in his graduating class. By the time Corey and Cameron finished, there were more Black students.
Ann Arbor is kid friendly and very diverse because of the University. We began to have friends from all over the world. We didn't realize it at the time, but the boys were being prepared for a multicultural world.
We were the only Black family in the neighborhood and the only problem we had was a neighbor next door. He definitely wasn't ready for us. He would lay down a string when he cut his grass to make sure he only cut on his property, watched the boys when they cut our grass or a serviceman came to work, told our friends not to park in front of his house, and came over often in an attempt to harass us. It was downright funny when he watered his lawn because he had a hard time keeping the sprinkler only on his property. He was so distressed that he finally moved.
Nineteen-seventy was the year six Black men were killed by local policemen in Augusta, Georgia and school desegregation was still being fought in courts. Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, signed into law a bill that prohibited the busing of students "for any purpose or any reason without the written permission of the parent or guardian." Protests against integration were held in the North and South. This made Moody's job very relevant. Additionally, students at the University of Michigan had just staged the Black Action Movement, securing demands for 10% African American student enrollment and increased African American faculty.
Moody's job meant traveling to districts and universities all over the country. He was conducting research and workshops, testifying in Courts, writing grants and continuing his study of Black Superintendents. The following article can explain PEO much better than I can. (Click article to read full size.)
True riches can be measured by the friends one has and we have been blessed with many. The Moores went to Central State with us and they welcomed us to Ann Arbor as soon as we arrived. They made sure we got to meet their friends and introduced us to their Church, Bethel A.M.E., which we promptly joined.
Our home was always filled with students and professors working on research projects, seminars, or just wanting to talk about a dissertation.
By 1971, I had a full time job, working as a human relations specialist and assisting the social studies coordinator. A report was written our first year in Ann Arbor called the Humaness Report that sought more integration and inclusion in the district. Our focus was integrating multiculturalism into the curriculum. This was extremely difficult at the time because some people were not ready to make changes to the curriculum and others didn't believe that people of color had done enough to be included. Still, there were many who embraced the new ideas and helped Ann Arbor become one of the early districts to embrace multiculturalism. You'd be surprised at the ugly mail you get when you have a position like this, but it goes with the territory.
After a couple of years a new superintendent came to town and he made me take a job as a building administrator. When I said made, I mean it. At first he asked and I said no. So he looked at me and figured out how to do it. He eliminated the job I had. Therefore, I had to take the job.
It was a middle school with three houses (grades 6,7,8) and instead of principals, they called us House Leaders. I kept that job for about three years. Loved the kids but missed teaching and went back two years as a teacher at Burns Park. That lasted about two years. Bruce only stayed a couple of years and we became good friends. Then another new superintendent recruited me into central administration as Coordinator for Staff Development and Multicultural Education, a position I held until I was hired by Eastern Michigan University as an assistant to the Dean in the College of Education in the '80s.