It’s time for the third edition of Strong Female Friday!
Today we’re talking about Mary McCleod Bethune. Mary was an educator, civil rights leader, and government official who was born in Mayesville, South Carolina on July 10, 1875. She relocated to Florida to run a mission school in 1899. Her experience as a teacher pushed Mary to start the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in Daytona, FL in 1904. In 1929, the school merged with the Cookman Institute and became Bethune-Cookman College.
Outside of teaching, Mary founded the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in 1935 to represent the national and international concerns of black women. She also worked with the National Youth Administration to help secure jobs for young people and the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) as the Florida chapter president from 1917-1925. Her hard work with the NACW earned her the national presidency in 1924.  On top of all of her civil rights work, Mary McCleod Bethune was a large public figure that worked with four presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt as he worked on creating the historic New Deal.
Many of Mary’s achievements were considered unprecedented during her lifetime. She was the first woman to be involved in the White House, and she became the first female black leader to have a monument in Washington DC. In 1994, she became the only woman of color to have a memorial site in Washington D.C. when the National Park Service acquired her last place of residence and the original headquarters of the NCNW.
Mary McCleod Bethune helped many people in so many different ways, and I am honored to present her to you on this Strong Female Friday.
Do you want to hear this Strong Female in Action? Check out this awesome speech she made in 1955.
See you next week!

[picture credit:]