thumbnail of The glory road; Mary McLeod Bethune
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
This program was produced by the video for national educational radio under a grant from the National Home Library Foundation. From the struggle for freedom in the 18th century the struggle for freedom in the 20th Negro Americans have helped make American history. These are a few travelers along warrior road. Warrior the stories of Negro Americans who shared in the nation today. Mary McLeod I speak Mr. President not as his bed but as the promise of 14 million Americans who seek to achieve full citizenship. We have been taking the Grahams year 1935 in our country's dark days of depression. But place the White House at his desk. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt listens carefully and contribution. But we need help we need roads believe that at last there's somebody in the White
House who really care. Thank you Mr. President. You just opened my door. Yes this is Beth. I want to assure you that I shall continue to do my best for your people in every way I can. Thank you Mr. President. I've heard many fine things about you Mrs Baf and I'm glad you decided to accept this challenge to have the new Office of Minority Affairs. I don't believe anyone in the country can do the job better than you can. As Mrs. bathroom walks toward the door the president turns to an assistant and he says this is bathroom is a great woman. I believe in her because she has her feet on the ground not only on the ground but in the deep plowed soil. Her feet on the ground and in the peat plowed soil. This is the story of Mary McLeod Bethune who was born in a South Carolina
cabin and became an educator humanitarian United Nations consultant and aide to five presidents of the United States. Mary Macleod was born in 1875. Ten years after emancipation. Her parents had been slaves on a cotton plantation and most of Mary's brothers and sisters had been born into slavery too. Mary was born free but how free as a little girl really went in the large house across the road someone says. Oh yes ma'am. But I wasn't going to. How do I know that. Anyway books are for people who can read. Yes I guess you meant no harm come on here now show me some pictures. Now what's the matter Mary. Sometimes I wish I could be myself and someday I will
someday learn to read and write. But there is no school. Yes you counted how many times you have to be told. So I've no time for dreaming big dreams. Please question and I'll never be lazy I promise. Mary Mary come here. Yes you're right.
She's doing right well considering that big sack of carbon she's carrying should be running like a jack rabbit. What you gonna tell them is Emma. Wait till she finds out there's a visitor waiting just for you. Here I am and here's the sack sneer if I told you I made the best work of the night. It would be hard to spare but I reckon she's the smartest So she's the one you are. I'm so glad you're letting her go. Let me go where you see Mary. The Mission Board of the church sent me down to start a school for Negro children a school. You mean I have to learn to read. Yes Mary the school will open in Maysville and soon is the cotton picking is finished. Oh papa can I go. You have to walk five miles each way Mary. That's a long walk for a little girl. Would you like to join us. What I owe you. Yes yes yes I would. It seemed to Mary McCloud for the miracle to happen to her. In all the years to come she would
never forget that day nor would she forget her first day in school. It was exciting and wonderful. Her first glimpse into a new world she walked for 10 miles each day and never missed a lesson. She learned all she caught in the tiny maze of a school house and suddenly it was all over. You knew you couldn't go to school for ever now didn't you. You wanted to read and write. Well you can marry better than anybody else in Maysville but something inside Mary told her it wasn't enough. There was so much more to learn. She pulled weeds and pick cotton and chop wood and she waited for another miracle. And then one day the miracle happened. I was so happy for you. I have wonderful new Miss. A Quaker lady wants to help you. I wrote to her about you and she wants you to go on with your education. She wants you to go to North Carolina to the seminary and she says you'll pay for it herself.
This was the first of many journeys for married wow. After seven years of Scotia seminary there was a scholarship to the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Graduation and then a teaching assignment in a small school in Georgia. And then another journey to Savannah Georgia this time for sundown she thought as the bride of a young schoolteacher named Albert. But Mary McLeod Bethune restless. And one day she said Albert I'll be honest with you I want to go back to teaching. But why Larry I don't understand. It's hard to explain I keep remembering that little girl in Maysville chop and crab wrestling picking cotton praying that God somehow would learn to read and write. Mary you've come a long way from Maysville. Isn't it time to settle down and rest. How can I rest. Mary McCloud have no schools to go to. Hope nobody care. You can't save the whole world Mary you can't help everybody. Somebody help me to go to school.
Can I explain. Seems like it must merit lifted and a whole new world opened to me. Can you understand that Albert understand you're restless that's about all. Yes I am restless. While is an army of Negro children who need help so desperately. All I've learned all the candles people have given me. I want to pass it on. I want to open a school open a school with what I have my health and my faith in God and I have a dream Albert. Somehow I found the money to that little girl in papa's cab and wasn't scared to dream big dreams that's me and I'm not scared now. Yeah. Mister Will you let me. I missed the song. You must be a school teacher from your village looking for a place. Yes I am. I didn't open a school for Negro girl. Oh well there sure are a lot of children running around loose here in Daytona since they've been
down to Florida. Yes but money that's something else again I worry about that may understand these houses for rent. You can have it for $11 a month. See where I have to think about it. Not exactly how much you get beyond just with you. I have exactly at one dollar and fifty set one dollar and I'll be taking my leave Mr. Williams if that we don't we don't expect to get rich with this all share just to stay here so you can have it I can where I can I can trust you to pay me when you can. Nothing could stop and this is the place for her school. Well what if it was an old shack with sagging floors. The tone was teeming with neglected Negro children and now there was a place for them a place where they could learn. At
first there were so many things to do. Excuse me neighbor borrow a broom. I want to clean up the school house for the children. I'm Mary Beth to talk with you moment. Oh yeah. This girl's been saying Heifetz and that's why I'm here. Can you help. What can I do. Need anything you can get. Maybe lie some Only maybe even a few pennies if you can spare. Come in and let's see what happens. Each one of you take a basket of these. Railroad tracks and see what you get. I reckon their days Marty good workman from up north. Mary buffoon was never too proud to work or even to beg for her girls. And at last the school
was ready. The first pupils were five little girls to wish and fifty cents a week. If the fifty cents was sometimes hard to find Mrs. Bethune would say don't worry about that let me take a little girl anyway. If there was nothing to eat this is the food go to the grocer and plead with him for help. Ma girls a girl Ripper came front of Selby. Please trust me Jim I still have the money for you on Monday. Now you would want to see him go hungry with people that help all kinds of people black and white poor people who have little themselves rich people vacationing in nearby hotels. People who recognize merry buffoons hunger to bring hope to her girls. She organized the girls to sing spirituals performing a hotel. I was in clubs and churches raising funds for her beloved school slowly and surely the school grew and grew. But life was never to be easy. As soon as funds came in they were swallowed by grocery bills repair supplies and teacher salaries. Yet the school group the dream nourished by love and by hope.
In time it offered a full high school course. The years went on and the school grew to a fully accredited college. Today's fine Bethune-Cookman college at Daytona Florida. What a triumphant day it was when Mrs. Bethune told a large audience that. You use. Chance to. Many honors came to me they were honorary degrees from honors from leaders from presidents of the United States son Francisco for the United Nations was born in 1945.
This is what she believed to be the highest honor of all helping to work. That's the job that I agree with. That's why I've asked you to come here to the State Department. We want you to join us in San Francisco. But what do you wish to say. You can give us the benefit of your wisdom and your experience. I feel very humble at this moment there. Our government has full confidence in you. In fact many particularly want you to be part of the United Nations conference Mrs. Roosevelt is a wonderful woman. That's just what she says about you miss you when you joined us when you were special consultant on human rights. I'd be proud to do what I have on hand Mr. Secretary. At the United Nations as in all her other assignments Mrs. Bethune earned honor and respect. All her life in which the lives of others especially young a little girl from a
South Carolina cabin a troubled journey. This program Mary McLeod Bethune in the series Glory Road was written by Thelma feld and produced and directed by Norman wiser heard in today's cast with Mary Adelaide nap when Lynn Nelson and Louise steward William Price Norman wise or Samuel R. Seidler and Joan Pollock as Mary Macleod with whom your narrator has been Seymour Farber a grant from the National Home Library Foundation has made possible the production of this program for national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
The glory road
Mary McLeod Bethune
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-q52fct54).
Episode Description
This program focuses on civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune.
Series Description
The stories of African-Americans who have helped make the United States what it is today.
Broadcast Date
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Director: Wiser, Norman
Producer: Wiser, Norman
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-9-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:14
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The glory road; Mary McLeod Bethune,” 1966-03-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “The glory road; Mary McLeod Bethune.” 1966-03-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: The glory road; Mary McLeod Bethune. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from