Ashley separated in the year of 1904

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Ashley Robertson has written  biography of a woman, Mary McLeod Bethune, who has embraced her culture as an African American and had a vision of her school gaining national attention from blacks all across the nation. Mary McLeod Bethune was referred to in her day as “First Lady of Negro America.” She was born in 1875, number 15 of 17 children. Her youth days could have been less encouraging. She was born two years before the reclamation of the south by whites who’d under achieve the milestones through law and fear.  Mary began to read and discover another world where reality and thoughts are visually impaired. She dedicated her time towards education and possessed knowledge along with her brilliant mind. Her main goal was to share her knowledge as an evangelist to other African Americans, however the use of law and fear from the southern whites prevented her from doing so early on. Most southern whites thought that this would lead her towards liberty, therefore they rejected her dominion.  Mary and her husband, Albertus Bethune, separated in the year of 1904 in Palatka, Florida. She made international connects studying abroad and accepted pan africanism and became an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Later, Mary moved to Daytona Beach with her son where she opened a school, the Daytona Literary and Industrial School, with $1.50 along with a few other females for the training of Negro girls under Mary’s visionary leadership and dedication. The school merged with Cookman Institute in 1923 becoming Bethune-Cookman College (B-CC).  Washington assisted the early stages of Bethune with his wisdom and outside the box thinking. He was the president of Tuskegee and believed that since society was segregated, his school would be too. This is where Bethune moved beyond Tuskegee.  “Once within the walls of the college, there are neither blacks nor whites, only ladies and gentlemen.” She created a non-threatening environment where anyone who came was not segregated and interacted with all races no matter the color of their skin.  In 1935, Mary put out the call that prompted the making of the powerful National Council for Negro Women. She lead ths for 14 years and absolutely strong minded. She was anti-lynchAnd very powerful in the political world even though she was black. She was one of three African Americans representing the United States at the San Francisco meeting that prompted the production of the United Nations.  There were 4 U.S. presidents that took notice of Bethune and seeked information on race. FDR appointed Mary as director of Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Agency. This program was a new deal program where she sent donations, mainly money, to black poverty neighborhoods during the Great Depression.  Mary used to go through the streets of Daytona Beach raising money for the poor to pay poll taxes. A group of racist whites that use a combination of law and fear, the KKK, visited the campus of Bethune Cookman University because they didn’t appreciate the actions of Mary helping poor African Americans. The University countered by singing spiritual songs outside. Although Mary had a campus by the beautiful Daytona Beach, African Americans couldn’t land a foot on “The World’s Most Famous Beach” before Mary passed away in 1955. The students at Bethune-Cookman University pretty much took over “The World’s Most Famous Beach” and had everyone calling it Bethune beach. The Daytona Beach itself, excluding Bethune-Cookman University, still had a predominantly white population. Even til this day, Bethune students are taking advantage of their rights to travel to Daytona Beach and not violate any laws. Mary sacrificed her life for the future African American generations of the US, especially those at Bethune, to live freely without consequences regarding liberty.  In conclusion, Ashley Robertson has composed life story of a lady, Mary McLeod Bethune, who has held onto her way of life as an African American and had a dream of her school increasing national consideration from blacks the whole way across the country. Mary McLeod Bethune was alluded to in her day as “First Lady of Negro America.” Her childhood days could have been less promising. Although southern whites prevented her from certain specifications, she prevailed by creating a magnificent college that stands 100 + years later. I highly recommend this book because it describes how Mary McLeod Bethune handled adversity through rough times to make a magnificent school with African American faith involved.

Categories: United States


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