It has been a while since I’ve posted about Freedom’s Sisters and I’ve missed these women. Mary Church Terrell was born in 1863, the year of the Emancipation Proclamation, was one of the first black women to earn a college degree, and founded the Colored Women’s League. She actually accomplished a lot of “firsts”–and also a number of “last” words. For example, at age 89, she protested the segregation of Kresge’s store and the Thompson restaurant in DC — and won. This sister did not give up! She spent a lifetime heading organizations to promote civil rights and women’s rights, including being a suffragette in support of the 19th Amendment. I’m also impressed that she gave speeches at international organizations — in native languages, like German and French. This was some woman!
Here’s a quote: “I cannot help wondering sometimes what I might have become and might have done if I had lived in a country which had not circumscribed and handicapped me on account of my race, but had allowed me to reach any height I was able to attain.”
I can’t help wonder, either, but mostly I’m marveling at how much she DID accomplish, given all the barriers.
She wrote an autobiography, A COLORED WOMAN IN A WHITE WORLD, and there are many books written about her. Since she was born in Memphis, there’s also info about her on the website of Tennessee State University.