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Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965$
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Davis W. Houck and David E. Dixon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731071

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020

Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune

June 11, 1954 Detroit, Michigan

(p.3) Mary McLeod Bethune
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

Born on July 10, 1875, in Mayesville, South Carolina, Mary McLeod Bethune is one of the most important educators and political leaders of her time. Aside from education, Bethune was also very active in politics. She was involved in a variety of organizations, from the Florida Federation of Colored Women and the NAACP to the Association of American Colleges, the National Urban League, the League of Women, and the Women’s Army for National Defense. In 1935, Bethune founded the National Council of Negro Women, a nonprofit group designed to unite disparate black women’s groups throughout America. In 1954, less than one month after the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Bethune delivered a speech in which she argued that America has discovered a new freedom with the ruling—a freedom that she has been cultivating for five decades. This chapter reproduces Bethune’s speech.

Keywords:   speech, Mary McLeod Bethune, politics, National Council of Negro Women, America, Supreme Court, Brown v. Board of Education, freedom

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