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Mary McLeod Bethune and the Necessity of Black Women’s Leadership

February 28 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm

Free
Mary McLeod Bethune

First Amendment Speaker Series presents Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston, author, curator, and Assistant Professor of History at Howard University. She is the author of Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State.

Mary McLeod Bethune was often called the “First Lady of Negro America,” but she made significant contributions to the political climate of Florida as well. From the founding of the Daytona Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls in 1904, Bethune galvanized African American women for change. She created an environment in Daytona Beach that, despite racial tension throughout the state, allowed Jackie Robinson to begin his journey to integrating Major League Baseball less than two miles away from her school. Today, her legacy lives through a number of institutions, including Bethune-Cookman University and the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation National Historic Landmark. Historian Ashley Robertson Preston explores the life, leadership, and amazing contributions of this dynamic activist.

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About Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston

Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston is an author, curator, and Assistant Professor of History at Howard University. 

Her past positions include serving as director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation-National Historic Landmark at Bethune-Cookman University while she also was an archives technician for the National Archives for Black Women’s History at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House-National Historic Site.

She is the author of Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State which examines how the educator rose to prominence while fighting for equality at the height of racial unrest in the state

Dr. Preston’s research interests focus on the activism of Black women during the early twentieth century and the ways in which they uplifted their communities, created institutions, and stood against systemic racism. 

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