From the Collections of the Amistad Research Center
Mary McLeod Bethune was an educator, author, racial leader, feminist, founder (1904) and President (1932-1942, 1946-1947) of Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Florida. The collection contains correspondence, most of which is from the 1930s. The letters are chiefly invitations to speak and congratulations extended to Mrs. Bethune on being the 21st recipient of the Joel E. Spingarn medal of the NAACP.
There is a congratulatory telegram from Herbert Hoover as well as messages from other prominent persons. The correspondents include John Hope, Frank S. Horne, Mary White Ovington, William Pickens, the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, John T. Tigert, Walter White, Roy Wilkins, and Plummer Bernard Young.
Some of the most valuable pieces of the collection are manuscripts of speeches delivered by Mrs. Bethune. These include her presidential addresses to the National Association of Colored Women in 1926, an address delivered during the Chicago's World Fair in 1933 entitled "A Century of Progress of Negro Women," her response on receiving the Spingarn Medal, and many others.
This collection contains two diaries, one written by Mrs. Bethune on the trip to Europe and the other by her friend Josie Roberts, while on tour of California (1926) with Mrs. Bethune. There are manuscript copies of articles written by and about Mrs. Bethune for publication. Other materials in the collection include lists of contributions given to Mrs. Bethune and Bethune-Cookman College, photographs, programs, invitations, and clippings, most of which are newspaper articles.