Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator | Periscope

Mary McLeod Bethune in 1943

At a time when there were few educational opportunities for African Americans, Mary McLeod Bethune created schools and a thriving college for them. Mary was born in Mayesville, South Carolina to freed slaves in 1875. Her family was very poor and the children had to work as farm laborers. The first school for African Americans that Mary was able to attend was several miles from her home. She walked to school every day and became an excellent student. When Mary was 14, a charitable woman from Colorado decided to pay for Mary's education at Scotia Seminary in North Carolina. At Scotia, Mary was again considered an excellent student. In 1893, her effort earned her a scholarship to attend the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. At Moody, Mary found that she was the only African American student. She would spend the rest of her life making sure that education was available to students like her.