Mary Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune is one of the WOCAA – Women of Color and Accomplishment. WOCAA is a book in progress of my paintings and brief bios of Black women in American history. These are women who have accomplished much despite often facing discrimination or challenging backgrounds.

I just finished this piece on July 23, 2021. The colors are inspired by Alice Neel’s Woman in a Pink Hat.

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune  1875 – 1955

Bethune was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil rights activist. Bethune founded the National Council for Negro Women in 1935, established the organization’s flagship journal Aframerican Women’s Journal, and resided as president or leader for myriad African American women’s organizations including the National Association for Colored Women and the National Youth Administration’s Negro Division. She also was appointed as a national adviser to president Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom she worked with to create the Federal Council on colored Affairs, also known as the Black Cabinet. She is well known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida; it later continued to develop as Bethune-Cookman University. Bethune was the sole African American woman officially a part of the US delegation that created the United Nations charter.