The daughter of former slaves, Mary Terrell became active in Civil Rights in 1892 when an old friend was lynched. At the age of 86, in 1950 she challenged segregation in public places.
Terrell’s life work focused on the notion of racial uplift, the belief that blacks would help end racial discrimination through education, work, and community activism. She used to motto “Lifting as we climb”. Terrell helped form the National Association of Colored in 1896 and embraced women’s suffrage, which she saw as essential to elevating the status of black women, and consequently, the entire race. She actively campaigned for black women’s suffrage.