By MOHAMMED OMER ZAHIR

Over a century ago, there was a black teacher named Mary McLeod Bethune. She had a goal to achieve. She had a dream that every black child in America could get an Education. In 1904 she rose to prominence, when she started her own school for Black Children Education. After few years her school converted into college, and she turned into the president of the college. While, running her college she tried various things to improve standard of black children Education. For this purpose, she gave speeches all over the United States. When Mary died in 1955, her work had changed many lives.

Mary was born on 10th of July 1875, in South Carolina, while her parents had been slaves. She was raised with 16 brothers and sisters. Mary interest of learning began in her childhood, when the children gathered around their mother as mother sat in her favourite chair and told those non-fictional stories regarding Africa and also talked about Bible as well. While listening to her mother’s story she developed interest and believed that one day she will be able to read.

One day when Mary McLeod Bethune was teenager, a black teacher named Emma Wilson visited her house. She told Mary’s parents that she will be going to run one-room school for black children’s education. Mary’s parents wanted all of their children to get education, but there is too much work to do in the farm so only one child could seek knowledge. So therefore, they made decision that Mary should go to learn, after they observed that Mary was too keen to learn. So finally, Mary’s aim of learning began to progress. Her school was five miles away but she enjoyed every mile she walked. Every evening, she told her family, a thing or two, which she learned that day?

Mrs Emma Wilson was a good teacher and Mary was a good student. So after few years of struggle, Mary completed her education. After completing her education, she became a teacher. She then decided to start her own school for black children in Daytona, Beach Florida. But money was the issue. Most of the parents of Mary’s students could not afford their children’s education. Mary convinced some rich people to donate money. The school slowly grew. In 1923 it joined with Cook-man Institute as Bethune-Cook-man College. Mary become its president and worked hard for equal rights until her death.

Published in Young Nation magazine on October 1, 2016