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African American Studies Center

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune

Long deemed the most influential black American woman, Bethune is, by scholarly consensus, one of the most important black Americans in history regardless of gender. In circumstances common to black Americans of her generation, the uncommon Mary McLeod Bethune was born near Mayesville, South Carolina. Unflinchingly, she championed the democratic values that define the nation. Bethune's life and work provide one of the major links between the social reform efforts of post-Reconstruction black women and the political protest activities of the generation emerging after World War II.

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