September 23 - Happy Birthday, Mary Church Terrell

Posted on September 23, 2018

Today's amazing, strong black woman has a lot in common with other women I've been writing about recently. Born in Tennessee on this date in 1863, Mary Church Terrell worked to not only get an education for herself, but also to help other black people (including girls) get educations. She was one of the first African American women to earn a college degree (she earned two, a bachelor's and a master's), she studied in Europe (and mastered French and German and Italian!), she served as a teacher and a principal, and she was first black woman in the U.S. to be appointed to a school board of a major city.

Terrell worked not only to achieve herself, but also organized to help other black people achieve. She was a founding member of NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and the National Association of Colored Women and the Colored Women's League of Washington.

As if there was a need for more - there's more!

Terrell was a journalist. She was published in both "the white press" and "the black press." (She used a pen name, Euphemia Kirk.)

She was a speaker. Guess what? She was the only black woman at the 1904 International Congress of Women in Berlin, Germany - and she was an invited speaker! She gave her speech first in German (to huge applause), then in French, and finally in English.

She worked to help servicemen during World War I.

She worked for women's suffrage (the right to vote).

She worked to integrate dining places in Washington, D.C.

She picketed and protested segregation.

She lived 90 years, and she died just a few months before I was born. 

What a grand legacy you have, Mary Church Terrell!!

No comments:

Post a Comment