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Mary Mcleod Bethune Famous Floridian Essay

1033 words - 4 pages

Mary McLeod Bethune was the fifteenth of seventeenth children, was born in Maysville, South Carolina, on July 10th, 1875. Patsy McIntosh and Samuel McLeod,were slaves who had been emancipated after the Civil War. They were also South Carolina sharecroppers, but they wanted their first child born in freedom to get an education. At the age of 10 she began to working the fields, she spent eight to ten hours a day picking cotton. Mary didn't have any schooling until the Trinity Presbyterian Mission school opened in 1885. One day there was a knock at the door; it was Miss Emma Wilson, a school teacher at the Presbyterian Church. She offered Mary's mother an education for one of her children since Mary was a hard worker and wanted to learn so she was the one her mother sent. She walked 5 miles to school everyday. After school she would come back home and teach her brothers and sisters to read. She was very smart and learned quickly, she graduated from Miss Emma's class after 3 years. A woman of faith as you may say, she received a scholarship to North Carolina's Scotia Seminary which was devoted to the education of African-American women. In 1887 she jumped on a train to Concord, North Carolina and headed to Scotia Seminary. She graduated in July 1894 and inspired by Miss Emma's teaching she decided that she wanted a career in teaching and began to work on a school for black girls. She spent six years teaching in North Carolina and trained to become an Africanmissionary at the Bible Institute for Home Foreign Mission in Chicago, but she was rejected by the Presbyterian Mission Board because they did not accept African-Americans for that type of work. She went back to teaching and found work at Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia and after that she worked at the Kendall Institute in Sumner, South Carolina where she met and married Albert McLeod and one year later they had a son together. They moved to Palatka, Florida and while Albert worked as a Porter; she opened her own school in October 3, 1904, The Daytona Literary and Industrial for Training Negro Girls which use to be the city dump .The bad thing is only five girls showed up, they were about the ages of 8 to 12. Soon it became a great success, when the Ku Klux Klan showed up in 1920 and threatened her, Mary would turned out the lights and sing religious songs. The Klan eventually left. By 1922 there were 300 students and 25 staff members. The year after that it was mixed with the Cookman Institute for Men and after the year 1929 it became known as the Bethune-Cookman College, which is located in Daytona Beach, Floridawhere it is still running today. Mary was active in the fight against racism and served under Presidents as a member of the unofficial African American "brain trust". In 1936 she was assigned by President Roosevelt as the director of the National Youth Administration's...

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