Mary Mcleod Bethune

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Mary McLeod Bethune was born on July 10, 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina to two former slaves. She was a dynamic figure and a tireless worker who devoted her life to the betterment of the lives of others, specifically the lives of blacks, women, and children during the Progressive Era. She was one of the few women in the world that served as a college president. Upon her death, columnist Louis E. Martin said, "She gave out faith and hope as if they were pills and she some sort of doctor." Bethune began her career as a teacher, believing that the key to changing the lives of blacks was to educate black women, saying “I believe that the greatest hope for the development of my race lies in training our women thoroughly and practically." In 1904, she started the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in Daytona, which eventually became Bethune-Cookman College. She was president of the college from 1923–42 and 1946–47, one of the few women in the world who served as a college president. In 1896, he National Association of Colored Women (NACW) was formed to promote the needs and rights of black women. In 1917, Bethune became the President of the Association’s Florida chapter, a position she held until 1925. During this period, among other things she attempted to get as many black women as possible to vote. From 1920 to 1925, she served as president of the Southeastern Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, an organization that served to amplify black women's voices for better opportunities. Her presence in these clubs helped earn her the NACW national presidency in 1924. Under her leadership, the NACW purchased a property for its headquarters, making it the first black-controlled organization represented in Washington D.C.

In 1935, Bethune combined 28 different organizations to form the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in New York City. The council aimed to improve the quality of life for women and their communities. About the organization,...
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