EDUCATOR AND CIVIL RIGHTS REFORMER
In the 1930s Mary McLeod Bethune was perhaps the most influential African American woman in the United States. A somewhat domineering woman with an unshakable religious faith, the charismatic Bethune was sometimes considered a female Booker T. Washington. Like him she had the capacity to reassure whites even as she pressed for greater civil and social equality for blacks. In the segregated, Depressionera South, she managed to promote the fortunes of Bethune Cookman College, which she had founded. By the end of the decade she was the most influential African American administrator in the New Deal, the director of Negro affairs for the National Youth...
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