Black History Month Salute: Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) (Video)


Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune was born July 10, 1875, in Mayesville, South Carolina.  She was one of 17 children of Samuel and Patsy McLeod, former slaves. Mary worked in the cotton fields with her family. She married Albertus Bethune an they had a son.

She founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls (now Bethune-Cookman College) in 1904, and served as president from 1904-1942 and from 1946-47. Was a leader in the black women’s club movement and served as president of the National Association of Colored Women. Was a delegate and advisor to national conferences on education, child welfare, and home ownership.Was Director of Negro Affairs in the the National Youth Administration from 1936 to 1944. Served as consultant to the U.S. Secretary of War for selection of the first female officer candidates. Appointed consultant on interracial affairs and understanding at the charter conference of the U.N. Founder of the National Council of Negro Women. Vice-president of the NAACP. Was awarded the Haitian Medal of Honor and Merit, that country’s highest award. In Liberia she received the honor of Commander of the Order of the Star of Africa.

She died in 1955.  Check out the portrayal of Mary McLeod Bethune here.

source: Women in History

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