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ERIC Number: EJ874683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-1541-6224
Women in History
Giesler, Mark
Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, v3 n1 p3-4 Jan 2005
This article profiles Mary McLeod Bethune. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Bethune is not a household name. Despite the fact that she made major contributions in politics and education, she epitomized the quiet, passionate African-American woman of the mid-20th century, "the mothers of the race, the homemakers and spiritual guides." Bethune was one of 17 children of former slave parents. As a girl, she attended Scotia Seminary, a Presbyterian school that emphasized religious and industrial education. This experience led her to the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where she dedicated her life to serving God through missionary work. Later she was told there was "no work for Negroes in the missions of Africa." She began a career educating African American children. Among her influences then was an apprenticeship with Lucy Craft Laney, who taught her that educated black women should uplift their families by providing "moral, Christian leadership at home and in their communities." She lived by this example in her own home. In 1898 she married Albertus Bethune. In 1908 he returned to his home in South Carolina, leaving Bethune to raise their only son Albert. From this experience she received the inspiration to start a school, the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute. It began with five girls and her son. In 1929, it merged with the Cookman Institute to become coeducational and eventually was renamed Bethune-Cookman College. Bethune retired from the college as president emeritus in 1947. Bethune's legacy is steeped in contradiction. She personified notions of black and female achievement, which in her era, were at odds with each other. She held fast to her core beliefs--religious faith, racial pride, and equal opportunity for all--and did so with the quiet, persistent courage that marks great achievement.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; South Carolina