Based in part on some 30 interviews of people with first-hand knowledge of this pioneering female black activist, The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune is an essential work of African-American biography, and only the second such effort in more than 40 years.
High school and college educators who need literature about minorities and women can do no better than to acquire this text. Bethune (1875-1955) is a role model for black youth: at a time when the status of black women was generally quite low, she became an educator who started a college — Bethune-Cookman, where Long teaches — advised four presidents, received international acclaim and awards, and consistently fought for the rights of women and minorities.
Dr. Bethune’s main message to youth entering college was, “Enter to learn; depart to serve.” Especially if paired with the film Mary M. Bethune: A Portrait of Faith, to which Long also contributed, The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune will inspire students and give them a deeper understanding of what it was like to be a minority in the early 1900s, and why a person like Dr. Bethune was so remarkable to be able to accomplish all that she did.
Long’s research uses first-hand interviews and archival material from Bethune- Cookman College to offer never-before-published details of the life of this woman with dark skin and stocky figure who was the 15th of 17 children born to former slaves. Bethune eventually started a school in Daytona Beach with $1.50 and five students, became a leader in Florida for black voting rights and rights for all women, stood up to the Ku Klux Klan, and laid the groundwork for integration in Daytona. She convinced such influential millionaires as Thomas White, John D. Rockefeller, and James Gamble to become her staunch supporters.
The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune covers the life, family, and accounts of those who knew this educator, politician, and single mother, in a clear and easy-to-read narrative that will engage students.
A 30-minute teacher’s resource DVD for use in the classroom further complements the text. For more information, please visit: