Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955) was a determined woman. She helped make education available to thousands of black americans. When she was a child, many people though that education was a waste of time for black children but t Mary wanted to go to school and her parents supported her. She graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1895 and afterward taugh school in Georgia. In 1904 she moved to Daytona, Florida to establish a school for girls. Mary had only $ 1,50 in her pocket when she arrived in Daytona, but that didn’t stop her. She sold sweet potato pies to raise money for her school. She asked for donations from churches, clubs and anyone who would help. Her school became Bethune-Cookman University. It is an example of what a determinded person can acomplish. Mary used that same determination to fight for other equal rights for her people. She founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. She was also an advisor to four presidents of the United States. Her legacy lives on.
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (1900–1978) was a pioneering nationalist who fought against British colonialism. She was a pioneer African feminist and a human rights activist who was tireless in her campaigns for women’s rights and for economic, political, and social justice. She was an educator who gave a voice to the voiceless and education to the uneducated. Kuti was the mother of the activists Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a musician, Beko Ransome-Kuti, a doctor, and Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a doctor and a former health minister of Nigeria.
Jean Baptiste DuSable (1745-1848) « The founder of Chicago ».
Chicago, Illinois, is the third largest city in the United States. But few people know it was founded by a black man, Jean DuSable. Jean was born in Haïti, the world’s oldest black republic, he moved to St Louis when he became a fur trader. When the British took over St Louis, Jean moved to Peoria, Illinois where Native Americans helped him etablish a succesful trading business. Jean made many trips to Canada to bring back furs. He always passed a place called Eschikagov that he used as a lockout point. In 1774, he built a cabin there for his family. Other pionners built stores and homes near this post. The settlement grew into a city that became Chicago. Many years passed before Jean was credited with the founding of Chicago. In 1968, he was finally recognized as the man who founded one of the great cities of the world.
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born a slave and was named Isabella Baumfree. New York, the state where she lives outlawed slavery in 1827 but Soujourner’s master didn’t care. He would not free her, so she ran away. When she was 46 years old, she decided to start her own campaign against slavery. She could not stand to see her people suffer any longer so she changed her name to Soujourner Truth. She chose that name because she planned to travel from place to place to tell the truth about slavery. Sojourner carried her anti-slavery message throughout th North, she spoke to anyone who would listen and to those who wouldn’t. Soujourner was often beaten for speaking out against slavery but this brave woman could not be stopped. She had a mission. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that outlawed slavery, but the southern states did not recognize the law until they were defeated. After the civil war, Sojourner fought for black equality and women’s rights and she dedicated her life to opening the doors of freedom for all people.