Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mary McLeod Bethune

I've begun my first writing assignment. I'm creating a unit on Mary McLeod Bethune, who began a school for black girls right here in Daytona Beach, Florida. When I taught second grade, we took a field trip to her home each year and also visited Bethune-Cookman College. During my research, I've learned many interesting facts about her.
  • During a mayorial election in Daytona Beach, the KKK threatened both her and her students. When they were burning crosses in front of the school, she turned on all of the outside lights, spooked the horses, and revealed some of the participants. She continued to register black voters, and the candidate who supported her school won the election!
  • She was the first woman to hold a high federal position when she was a member of FDR's "black cabinet." She and Eleanor Roosevelt struck up a friendship, and when FDR died, Eleanor sent Mary his walking stick, which she proudly used for the rest of her life.
  • She often took her school choir to sing at area hotels. This being a time of Jim Crow laws, they showed her to the back of the building. She always used the front door instead.
  • When one of her students needed hospital care, she was kept on a cot on the back porch of the hospital. Mary's next project was to build a hospital.

That only skims the surface. She was quite an amazing woman. I think I'm going to enjoy this new writing project of mine.


Anonymous said...

i think that mary mcleod bethune is an amazing women

Unknown said...

i think that mary mcleod bethune was a great peron she did a lot of things to help us now