Mary McLeod Bethune, fully Mary Jane McLeod Bethune
Bethune, fully Mary Jane McLeod Bethune
American Educator and Civil Rights Leader
Knowledge is the prime need of the hour.
Next to God we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth living.
The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.
There is a place in God's sun for the youth "farthest down" who has the vision, the determination, and the courage to reach it.
We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.
We live in a world which respects power above all things. Power, intelligently directed, can lead to more freedom. Unwisely directed, it can be a dreadful, destructive force.
Cease to be a drudge, seek to be an artist.
Whatever glory belongs to the race for a development unprecedented in history for the given length of time, a full share belongs to the womanhood of the race.
For I am my mother's daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.
When they learn of Shakespeare and Goethe, we must teach them of Pushkin and Dumas.... Whatever the white man has done, we have done, and often better.
From the first, I made my learning, what little it was, useful every way I could.
I do feel, in my dreamings and yearnings, so undiscovered by those who are able to help me.
I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity.
I never stop to plan. I take things step by step.
I plunged into the job of creating something from nothing . . . Though I hadn't a penny left, I considered cash money as the smallest part of my resources. I had faith in a living God, faith in myself, and a desire to serve.
If our people are to fight their way out of bondage we must arm them with the sword and the shield and the buckler of pride.
If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything ... that smacks of discrimination or slander.
If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs.
Without faith nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.