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She became recognized as a most important black leader through her work in the administrations of President Frankliin D Roosevelt and her leadership in the Black Cabinet during the New Deal. In 1935 President Roosevelt appointed Bethune as director of the Negro division of the National Youth Administration (NYA). The Black Cabinet worked to promote black interests during the Great Depression. Although the country was still struggling with segregation, she worked quietly for equality in New Deal programs.

Mary McLeod Bethune

She was the fiftheen child out of seventeen born to poor parents in Mayersville, South Caroline. She worked while going to school and graduated from the Moody Bible College in Chicago in 1895. She taught school until she started the Daytona School for girls in 1915. Later the school

From Frederick Douglas (1840s) to Jesse Jackson (1990s) men have been nationally recognized as leaders of African Americans in the the United States. Mary McLeod Bethune is the only woman ever to be recognized as preeminent leader during this same time.

would become Bethune- Cookman College. She became president of the National Association of Colored Women and later found the National Council of Negro Women in 1935 in her effort to unite black women and encourage them to participate in civic, political and social work activities



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