Mary McLeod Bethune. A friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, inBethune became the highest ranking African American woman in government when President Franklin Roosevelt named her director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration, where she remained until Appointed by President Harry S. Mary McLeod Bethune Edited by Debra Michals, PhD Works Cited. Bethune-Cookman College The Answered Prayer to a Dream. National Women's History Museum, Date accessed. She recognized the importance of access to education and devoted a significant portion of her life to educational issues. In , it merged with the Cookman Institute and became a coeducational college. In addition to her considerable educational initiatives, Bethune worked tirelessly for civil rights. During the Roosevelt administration, she advised the White House on minority affairs, and after her death she became the first black woman to be honored with a statue in Washington, D. Search for:
Bethune did not confine her efforts on behalf of African Americans to government-sponsored programs. Using her clout as a top-ranking African American administrator in the Roosevelt administration, Bethune lobbied for African American concerns and was instrumental in seeing that African Americans received help from the federal government. She served as its president until Between and Bethune was director of Negro Affairs in the National Youth Administration NYA and chair of an informal Black Cabinet, a group of federally appointed black officials who met regularly to plan strategy and set black priorities for social change. Known as the "First Lady of the Struggle," she devoted her career to improving the lives of African Americans through education and political and economic empowerment, first through the school she founded, Bethune-Cookman College, later as president of the National Council of Negro Women, and then as a top black administrator in the Roosevelt administration. Bethune left the federal government after the NYA disbanded in She continued as president of the National Council of Negro Women until and, in that capacity, attended the founding conference of the United Nations. She died in While Bethune was a well-established African American leader before she met Eleanor Roosevelt inher career benefited substantially from ER's enthusiastic support. Inshe founded a more politically oriented organization, the National Council of Negro Women, a coalition of black women's organizations focused on ending segregation and discrimination and cultivating better international relationships.
A staunch advocate for black people and especially black women, she started the National Council of Negro Women in Shortly thereafter, President Franklin D. It merged with the Cookman Institute for Men, just up the Florida coast in Jacksonville, in to become Bethune-Cookman College, one of the few colleges open to black students.
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Bethune ran her school with a combination of unshakable faith and remarkable organizational skills. Year Honored: South Carolina Achievements: Education Educated In: Home Women of the Hall Oral History: She met and married Albertus Bethune, and began to teach school. Today her legacy is Bethune-Cookman University. She founded the National Council of Negro Women in Bethune died in She grew up in poverty, as one of 17 children born to former slaves. She served as the president of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Colored Women for many years. Bethune stayed with the college until In addition to her work at the school, Bethune did much to contribute to American society at large. In addition to her official role in the Roosevelt administration, Bethune became a trusted friend and adviser to both the president and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt. InBethune became the organization's national leader, beating out fellow reformer Ida B. That same year, she also started up her own civil rights organization, the National Council of Negro Women. November InBethune was the first woman elected to the American Institute of Architects. Louise Blanchard Bethune — is widely considered to be the first woman to practice as a professional architect in the United States. Bethune took special interest in school design, probably because her parents were both teachers. Former Richard Waite colleague Robert Bethune soon joined her, and they were married in December of that year.