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Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State

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Mary McLeod Bethune was often called the "First Lady of Negro America," but she made significant contributions to the political climate of Florida as well. From the founding of the Daytona Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls in 1904, Bethune galvanized African American women for change. She created an environment in Daytona Beach that, despite racial tension throughout the state, allowed Jackie Robinson to begin his journey to integrating Major League Baseball less than two miles away from her school. Today, her legacy lives through a number of institutions, including Bethune-Cookman University and the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation National Historic Landmark. Historian Ashley Robertson explores the life, leadership and amazing contributions of this dynamic activist.

ISBN-13: 9781626199835

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: History Press The

Publication Date: 06-29-2015

Pages: 144

Product Dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

Ashley N. Robertson, PhD, was born in Oxford, North Carolina, and is a curator and museum director for the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation-National Historic Landmark at Bethune-Cookman University, where she is also an assistant professor of history. Dr. Robertson graduated from Howard University in 2013 with a PhD in African Diaspora History and she also holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Bowie State University and a master of arts in African American Studies from Temple University.

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd 7

Acknowledgements 9

Introduction 11

Part I $1.50, Faith in God and Five Little Girls: The Founding of Bethune-Cookman University 15

Sunday Community Meetings and the Protest of Segregation 21

Depart to Serve the Local Community 28

Garnering Support for Educational Equality the Washington Way 34

Rallying Black Voters 37

An Honor hi Her Home State 39

A Space of Internationalism 41

Bahamas 42

United Nations 43

B-CC Representation in Liberia 46

Part II Maintaining the Legacy of Mary Bethune at the Bethune Foundation Historic Home 49

The Retreat 52

Founding of the Bethune Foundation 55

Brick Upon Brick 56

The Work Begins 57

Off to a Great Start 60

The Legacy Continues 62

Tn Her Own Words 64

Part III White Sands, Black Beaches: The Beginnings of Historic Bethune Beach 67

Nearby Central and North Florida Black Beaches Provide the Model 67

World's Most Famous Beach 69

America's Natural Air-Conditioned Year-Round Resort 71

Investment 72

Expansion and Welricha Motel 74

Challenges for Bethune-Volusia Beach 76

Part IV A Mother, a Friend and a Boss Lady: The Inner Circle of Mrs. Bethune 79

"My fondest memories of Mother Dear…": Mr. Albert McLeod Bethune Jr. 79

"She was a friend to me": Mr. Harold V. Lucas Jr. 83

"I was considered a protégé of hers": Dr. Clco Higgins 95

"…the story of the last day that she was alive": Mrs. Senorita Locklear 100

Part V Galvanizing Women for Change Across the Sunshine State 111

The Women's Advisory Board 111

Ada Lee and the Jacksonville Bethune Circle 114

Clubwomen's Movement 117

The Founding of National Council of Negro Women 120

The Women's Army Corp 124

Conclusion: The Last Words of a Legendary Woman 129

Bibliography 135

Index 141

About the Author 144