When we left Mrs. Bethune in Part One, she was improving and growing her school campus and helping her entire community along the way. Now she’s going to kick it into high gear: a national stage, increased organizational involvement, presidential appointments, and turning her school from one building and five students…to a co-educational college. She stood on picket lines, sat in committees, campaigned for the American Red Cross, and founded the National Council of Negro Women. She was an advisor to presidents, helped form the United Nations, ran a government agency during the FDR years, and was on the ground floor of civil rights issues that would build throughout the century and beyond…and those are just some of the things we talk about, there was so much more work she did that it made us wonder how she got it all done in a lifetime. Not everything she touched was a success, but as a model of how to warm hearts and minds to bring education and equality to the forefront of both, she was a lifelong success.
Mary McLeod Bethune died on May 18, 1955, at the age of 79, the work she did is still rippling around the world to this day. She is buried on the campus of her beloved institution, Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Time Travel With The History Chicks
You can visit Mrs. Bethune’s former home in Washington, it’s a National Historic Site and while, at the time of recording, her former home on the campus of Bethune-Cookman is closed, it is set up for tours when it reopens if you find yourself in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Bethune-Cookman University not only has a lot of information on Mrs. Bethune, but it’s also a major part of her legacy! Here’s a starting spot, the history of the school, but poke around and you’ll see her all over the place. Check out the Athletics page for a delightful photo of her with the 1924 football team and there are tons of rabbit holes to tumble down in their Oral History Collection.
National Women’s History Museum has an entry for her, so one might assume once they become a brick-and-mortar, Mrs. Bethune will have a place. While they have an amazing website, the museum is staging it’s first physical exhibit this March 2023 at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library in D.C. Here’s a page where you can get more information on that: National Women’s History Museum
The NCNW is still a very active organization, find out more at this link: NCNW
And here’s information and photos of her statue in Statuary Hall in Washington D.C.
You should read her beautiful last will and testament, it’s available on the Bethune-Cookman University website.
We talked briefly about nurse Frances Reed Eliott Davis, here’s a place to start learning more about her!
Excerpt from Bethune21 documentary on Vimeo
There are still spaces to join us in London this September 2023, get more information and sign up at Like Minds Travel
End music, Keep On by Kat Web via iLicense Music. Listen on Spotify