Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Mary McLeod Bethune, 'Exhibit NO. 1 for all who have faith in America and the democratic process.'

Women in History: Portrait of Mary McLeod Bethune by Carl Van Vechten. Published 1949.
Source: Carl Van Vechten, photographer, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (Reproduction Number LC-USZ62-42476DLC)

Mary McCleod Bethune

By Femi Lewis, Guide February 28, 2013

When Mary McCleod Bethune died in May of 1955, her life was honored through lengthy obituaries in African-American newspapers across the United States. The Oklahoma City Black Dispatch characterized Bethune as "Exhibit NO. 1 for all who have faith in America and the democratic process. The fiery Pittsburgh Courier said, "In any race or nation she would have been an outstanding personality and made a noteworthy contribution because her chief attribute was her indomitable soul."

Even mainstream national newspapers such as The Washington Post proclaimed that Bethune's "dynamism and force" were so great that it was "almost impossible to resist her... Not only her own people, but all America has been enriched and ennobled by her courageous, ebullient spirit."

Reading these excerpts of Bethune's obituaries reminds me of the greatness of fighting for justice and fighting for the right to become educated. Through Bethune's great legacy, Americans--black and white--learn everyday that have a vision is important to humanity.

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