Sallye Brooks Mathis

Jacksonville, FL | 1912 - 1982

Ms. Sallye Brooks Mathis was born in Jacksonville Florida on May 18, 1912. She received an Associate of Arts Degree from Bethune-Cookman University, went on to study at the Tuskegee Institute and graduated from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She enjoyed a 28-year career as a teacher in the Duval County Public School system, where she taught elementary school students, as well as high school history at Matthew Gilbert High School. She served in the NAACP, leading voter registration initiatives and organizing local events, and served as a member of the League of Woman Voters. Her commitment to the cause of civil rights led the local NAACP chapter to name an annual community service award in her honor. In 1967, she became one of the first women and one of the first African Americans elected to the Jacksonville City Council. While serving on the City Council, she initiated legislation for a Citizens’ Police Review Board, free public toilets and equal job opportunities in public agencies. She also fought for reduced bus fares for senior citizens. Her service to education was recognized by the naming of a Jacksonville school, the Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School, in her honor.