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Mary McLeod Bethune: Passionate & Productive Educator & Activist

Today–July 10–is the birthday of one of the passionate & productive women I profiled in Adventurous Women: Eight True Stories About Women Who Made a Difference–Mary McLeod Bethune, a college founder & president, advisor to four U.S. presidents, humanitarian, Civil Rights activist, and more.  Of all the many photographs I’ve taken of landmarks to strong women, this image is among my favorites. I took it many years ago when I first visited this statue in Lincoln Park in Washington DC.  The boy on the bike with training wheels had been speeding here & there when suddenly he stopped & looked up at the statue of Mary McLeod Bethune with her walking stick in one hand & her “Last Will” in the other reaching out to give it to a young girl and boy. Was the kid on the bike transfixed by the statues or the pigeons artfully perched or both?  I don’t know, but I love how his presence in the photo creates a circle from Mary McLeod Bethune to the statue children to the living child to Mary McLeod Bethune, around & around & around. Her words circling the base on the statue read–“I leave you love . . . I leave you hope . . .I leave you a thirst for education. . .

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