Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary Jane McLeod Bethune was an educator and civil rights leader.
Born in South Carolina to parents who had been slaves, she took
an early interest in her own education. With the help of a scholarship,
Bethune attended college hoping to become a missionary in Africa.
When that did not materialize, she started a school for black girls
in Daytona Beach, Florida. From six students, the school eventually
grew to become the Bethune-Cookman School. Its quality far surpassed
the standards of education for black students and rivaled those
of white schools. Bethune worked tirelessly to ensure funding for
the school, and used it as a showcase for tourists and donors to
exhibit what educated black people could do.