She never abandoned her vision since she realized that Africans in America required Christ and education even more because they were powerless and the whites used power to deny them their rights (McCluskey, 1994, p. As such, Bethune committed all her efforts, skills, and resources to serve the education needs of African-Americans that would empower them to fight for racial and gender equality in America. Indeed, Mary created educational opportunities for Negro Girls by opening the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School in 1904 (Long, 2011, p. By 1906, the student body at the school had increased from five to about two hundred fifty students.
Mary solicited for donations, fundraiser, and performed concerts to establish a foundation in her home at Bethune-Cookman College (Long, 2011, p. Mary believed that through education, African Americans would have the capacity to advocate for racial and gender equality (McCluskey, 1989, p. She also influenced the education of black students in the twentieth century through different positions that she occupied. As a member of the Advisory Board of the National Youth Administration (NYA), she ensured that about 150,000 black youths accessed high school education and 60,000 accessed graduate education through an NYA student aid program (Berry, 1982, p.
Mary McLeod Bethune had unique personal and leadership traits that empowered her to pursue racial equality and social justice even as she promoted interracial collaboration (Long, 2011, p. Mary was a servant leader who committed her efforts and resources to fighting for the needs of the blacks in America and informs public policy. Indeed, Mary manifested the characteristics of a servant leader that included listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, growth in people, and building community (Long, 2011, p.
She was also charismatic and professed a sense of self and mission (McCluskey, 1999, p. To many whites, she was a darling of the press since she offered a non-confrontational image. However, to most blacks, she was the symbol of black pride where she depicted inspirational leadership that enticed black press, which had a mission to tame racial segregation. More so, Mary manifested her strong will, persistence, and perseverance to establish the first school for Negro girls.
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