Mary McLeod Bethune


Mary McLeod Bethune is one of the most important people in African-American History. On July 10, 1875 near Mayesville, South Carolina Mary McLeod was born to loving (ex-slave) parents, Samuel and Patsy McLeod. She was one of 17 children (the 15th).

    Growing up in Mayesville, she was the only child in her family to attend school, but when she came home she had to work very hard picking cotton. It was the best way for her family to make money. Once Mary learned how to read and write, she would go with her father to the weight station to make sure that he would get the right amount of money for his cotton. They needed the money to survive and the cotton was  worth only $0.01 per pound.

Mary went to Tinity Presbyterian Mission Schools. Later in her life she decided to further her education and went to what is now Barber Scotia. Mary also attended Moody Bible Institute. She became a Sunday school teacher for a while and was so successful that she decided from then on that she wanted to work with children.

 She married a teacher named Albertus Bethune and had one child.
She founded the Bethune Cookman College for black girls in 1904, and soon became president. She remained president for 39 years.  During that time Mrs. Bethune became very close friends with Booker T. Washington. They very often advised each other on on issues pertaining to their respected colleges.

She founded the National Council Of Negro Women  in 1935.

Mary McLeod Bethune became the first  African-American woman to head a federal agency when she was appointed as Director of Negro Affairs of the NationalYouth Administration in 1936. In May of 1955 she died, but her memories and her organizations still live on.....

One of her famous quotes is "from the first, I made my learning, what little it was, useful in every way I could."

By: Kit-Kat LBO Scott