This 1915 photo of Mary McCleod Bethune by William Ludlow Coursen belongs to the Florida State Archives. It was on display at the National Portrait Gallery as part of an exhibition on women's suffrage entitled Votes for Women, which ran from March of 2019 to January of 2020.
Mary McLeod Bethune 1875-1955African American women did not have the privilege of a single issue focus Instead, their relentless efforts and resources empowered African American women within their communities. While teaching at several schools in South Carolina and Florida in the 1890s, Mary McLeod Bethune became acutely aware of the dual oppression that African American girls faced. Accordingly, Bethune founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Training Negro Girls in 1904. The classical liberal education provided students with the tools they needed to become community leaders. In an effort to ensure that all of the school's pupils had strong role models, Bethune hired African American women as instructors.Outside of the Institute, Bethune organized black voters and worked to elect officials who would address the needs of her community. In 1912, she joined the black women's club movement, which facilitated collective race work on the state, regional, and national levels. -- NPG
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