Keeping the Legacy of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Alive

It’s Black History Month, and I would like to call your attention to a worthy cause – a  fundraising campaign to maintain the birthplace of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. The site is located in Lee County, South Carolina, just down the road from where I grew up and many family and friends still live.

Replica of Mary McCleod Bethune's birthplace
Replica of Mary McLeod Bethune’s birthplace at her Memorial Park in Lee County, SC

Black History Haiku #1
by Tony

A small wooden shack
The birthplace of a leader
History preserved

Please support the Lee County NCNW in its ‘Keeping the Legacy Alive’ fundraising campaign. Click Here to Give (links to their GoFundMe page started by my high school science teacher, Minnie Robinson-Collins). Thank you in advance for your support!

ncnwlogoIn 1985, the members of the Lee County South Carolina Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) purchased the place where Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was born in 1875. The organization’s mission was to develop the birth site of Dr. Bethune into a memorial park. Today, the 9-acre Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Park is complete with a replica of the house where she was born, an outdoor pavilion, playground, and picnic area. This is a beautiful place for family reunions, wedding and receptions, and outdoor meetings. Most importantly the park preserves a site of historical significance as the birthplace of a great figure in American history.

Please support the Lee County NCNW in its ‘Keeping the Legacy Alive’ fundraising campaign. Click Here to Give.

About Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955)

Mary Mccleod Bethune Stamp (photo:
Mary Mccleod Bethune 1985 Stamp (photo:

Born on a farm, Mary Jane McLeod Bethune, the 15th child of former slaves, rose from humble beginnings to become a world-renowned educator, civil and human rights leader, champion for women and young people, and an advisor to five U.S. presidents.

Her many achievements include founding what is now Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She also founded the National Council of Negro Women.

In 1974, a sculpture of Bethune in Lincoln Park (Washington, DC) because the first monument honoring a black woman to be installed in a public park in the nation’s capital. The inscription on the pedestal reads “let her works praise her,” while the side is engraved with a passage from her “Last Will and Testament”:

I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you a thirst for education. I leave you a respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity. I leave you a desire to live harmoniously with your fellow men. I leave you a responsibility to our young people.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was also honored by the United States Postal Service with a Black Heritage stamp in 1985.

Please support the Lee County NCNW in its ‘Keeping the Legacy Alive’ fundraising campaign. Click Here to Give.

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