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Mary McLeod Bethune

An article about Mary McLeod Bethune's contributions to education and race relations as a leader in the American black community.
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Mary McLeod Bethune 1875-1955
Birthplace: Mayesville, SC
Graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, 1895
The 17th child of former slaves, Mary McLeod Bethune taught in a series of southern mission schools (1895–1903) before settling in Florida to found the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls (1904). From 1904 to 1942, and again from 1946 to 1947, she served as president of the institute, which, after merging with Cookman Institute (1923), became Bethune-Cookman College. A leader in the American black community, she founded the National Council of Negro Women (1935) and was director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration from 1936 to 1944. In addition, she served as special adviser on minority affairs to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At the 1945 conference that organized the United Nations, she was a consultant on interracial understanding.

Related Resources

Web Resources
Mary Mcleod Bethune Council House
National Park Service site about the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. Find travel information, facility information, and more.

Black History Month Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans

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