FORMER DAVIS TEACHER
Banks was born in Barrio Anita in 1921. Su failia sembró un jardín.
There were a lot of African American families y había muchas familias
Latinos también. There were lots of Chinese families too. Había
mucha diversidad en el Barrio. Everybody worked together.
Laura Banks quería mucho a Barrio Anita. Vivió
con su mamá, su papá, y con sus hermanos y hermanas. Ella
es más cerca de su hermana. Laura Banks always wanted to be a teacher.
She started at the Old Spring and Dunbar schools because a long time ago
African American children and Hispanic children couldn't go to school
with white children. So they started out at Spring and Dunbar. Laura Banks
loved school. She was always ready to learn and eager to read.
Laura Banks wanted to meet new people. She wanted to
go to far away places and to experience the world. Familias Africanos
Americanos, Chinos, y Hispanos no tenían mucho dinero pero ellos
tenían muchas oportunidades para ellos mismos.
Banks quería graduar del colégio. Ella enseñó
tercero, cuarto, y quinto y también dedicó su tiempo a mejorar
la biblioteca de la Escuela Davis. So after she left teaching she became
a reading specialist and then she got into administration.
One of the most exciting things for her was when she
got married to Jack Banks, and they became partners and opened up a barbecue
business here named "Jack's Original Barbecue."
Banks era presidente del NAACP. She was also a community volunteer, and
she was one of the board members for the YMCA. She has received many awards
and civic awards. Ella trabajó en el United Way. She's worked at
the Tucson Guidance Clinic, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, the Urban League,and
numerous other positions.
The biggest event that she remembers growing up in
Tucson was when finally the laws changed so that all of the services in
Tucson were integrated and she was able to go to schools, and the law
was on her side because it was a big struggle here in Tucson for African
think that Laura Banks would say that the most important thing that she
wants to leave young people is the ability to develop a goal. You've got
to be able to look at yourself, look at your skills, and develop skills.
Plan what you want to do with your life. Don't let your life just happen.
Always have a plan. I think that's one of the most important lessons that
she wants young people to remember. Always have a goal and never, never,
never give up.
For all her hard work and effort they named a school
by Ginger Arzani
Summary and Interview by Alejandra Benítez, Mercedes Cortez, and
BARRIO ANITA RESIDENT
in those days when I went to school here, if you were bad, you got a paddle.
The principal could paddle you, and when you got home, if you were not
a lucky child, you would get another paddling for having the principal
paddle you! See that closet next to the stairs? Well, this one day I had
behaved so bad they locked me in that closet, but they didn't check to
see if I had matches with me. It was dark in there, and I was afraid of
the dark, so guess what I did. I pulled down the paper from off the shelf,
put it in a pile, and I put a match to it. I almost suffocated myself
with smoke, and that taught me a lesson: don't ever start a fire in a
interviewers: Cristina Acuña,
Mariah Adkisson, Freda Rodríguez
Family Night, 2002
TELLZ, LIFE-LONG BARRIO ANITA RESIDENT
Tellez attended Davis more than 80 years ago. "One thing they had
back then was water fountains outside. They had pot-belly stoves in every
room. We used to go into the basement to get coal. We didn't like to go
down there because it was too dark. They had no lights, only one room
had one light.
Interviewer: Jonathan Confer
Photojournalism Project, 1996