Mary McLeod Bethune: Making Strides in Education for African Americans

By Nadia Jeffries

Education is extremely important, and it is always wonderful to know who played a part in education efforts. There are many to mention, but I wanted to enlighten everyone of an educator named Mary McLeod Bethune. Mary McLeod Bethune was born in Maysville, South Carolina in 1875. Her parents were former slaves and, when Mary was old enough, she also helped out in the fields.

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Bethune has participated and contributed to numerous efforts toward education over the decades. She opened a boarding school and the Daytona Beach Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls. Her school, later on, became a college and was named after Bethune in 1929. Mary was also a suffrage activist for women, leading voter registration drives for women to vote. She became a founding president of the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. The next year, Bethune was ranked the highest African American in the government when President Franklin Roosevelt named her director of the Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. Those are just a few of the many achievements she has accomplished over the years.


This not the first time I have discussed Mary Mcleod Bethune. I remember in the fourth grade, I chose to do a paper on her for Black History Month. She clearly has made a difference in education by standing up for her values. Even in troublesome times, she did not give up, and this is something we should all be inspired by.