Miriam Shivery Moore Brown

Miriam Shivery Moore Brown was a dedicated and impactful educator of children in Mount Pleasant. She taught at many schools including Laing, Gregory, Simonton, and Whitesides. The community center on Royall Avenue is named in her honor, the Miriam Brown Community Center.

Miriam Shivery Moore, the 14th child of Henry and Josephine Moore, was born at home, 588 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC, on October 12, 1901. Henry was a pilot on the ferry, The Sappo, the only form of transportation connecting Charleston with the small town of Mount Pleasant. Miriam’s mother, Josephine Shivery Moore, was a midwife serving throughout Charleston.

Although Miriam's parents were only able to attend elementary school, they recognized the importance of education in overcoming the obstacles facing Blacks in the South during the early 20th century. Because of their commitment to education, Miriam attended Shaw Memorial School, one of the two overcrowded and underfunded Black schools in the Charleston area. Miriam knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher. She was accepted into the teacher education program at Avery Normal Institute, the private school for Blacks. In 1922 she graduated with a Licentiate of Instruction and accepted an offer to teach 6th grade and music at the Laing School in Mount Pleasant.

Miss Moore taught at Laing for 4 years. During that time, she continued to live at home with her parents and commute weekly to Mount Pleasant, housing with members of the community during the workweek. This practice forged a particularly close relationship between teachers, parents, and students that ensured educational success. In 1926, to be closer to her aging parents, Miss Moore resigned from the Laing School and accepted an offer from the Simonton Elementary School in Charleston, where she taught for 2 years. During her tenure at Simonton, she met her future husband, Arthur F. Brown. At that time, regulations prohibited teachers from marrying. Miss Moore made the difficult decision to sacrifice her career for marriage and, on September 12, 1928, she married Mr. Brown. During their marriage, they welcomed two children, Arthur F. Brown, Jr. and Jeanne Albertha Brown.

In 1934 the Browns moved to Mount Pleasant and in 1936 Mrs. Brown returned to teaching as the principal-teacher at the one-room schoolhouse in the Phillips community. Two years later, Mrs. Brown was named principal of the Gregory Elementary School where she served for 16 years. In 1952, Mrs. Moore was assigned to the Laing Elementary School as principal and music teacher where she remained for 17 years. When the school was closed in 1969, she was reassigned as the assistant principal at the desegregated Mamie P. Whitesides School. She helped with the transition of the Laing student body to this new school. After 44 years of educational excellence, Mrs. Moore retired in 1971.

Mrs. Moore received numerous awards for her innovation, advocacy, and dedication to the education of Black children in the Charleston area. In 1976 the Town of Mount Pleasant dedicated the Miriam Brown Recreation Center in her honor, and, in 1997 re-dedicated the Center to her. At age 100, Mrs. Moore passed away on August 30, 2002, a life well lived.



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