Mary McLeod Bethune was the fifteenth of seventeenth children, was born in Maysville, South Carolina, on July 10th, 1875. Patsy McIntosh and Samuel McLeod,were slaves who had been emancipated after the Civil War. They were also South Carolina sharecroppers, but they wanted their first child born in freedom to get an education. At the age of 10 she began to working the fields, she spent eight to ten hours a day picking cotton. Mary didn't have any schooling until the Trinity Presbyterian Mission school opened in 1885. One day there was a knock at the door; it was Miss Emma Wilson, a school teacher at the Presbyterian Church. She offered Mary's mother an education for one of her children since Mary was a hard worker and wanted to learn so she was the one her mother sent. She walked 5 miles to school everyday. After school she would come back home and teach her brothers and sisters to read.
She was very smart and learned quickly, she graduated from Miss Emma's class after 3 years. A woman of faith as you may say, she received a scholarship to North Carolina's Scotia Seminary which was devoted to the education of African-American women. In 1887 she jumped on a train to Concord, North Carolina and headed to Scotia Seminary. She graduated in July 1894 and inspired by Miss Emma's teaching she decided that she wanted a career in teaching and began to work on a school for black girls. She spent six years teaching in North Carolina and trained to become an African
missionary at the Bible Institute for Home Foreign Mission in Chicago, but she was rejected by the Presbyterian Mission Board because they did not accept African-
Americans for that type of work. She went back to teaching and found...