Attending and graduating college is a commonly celebrated accomplishment nowadays but back in the 19th century it was a major deal especially when you were a woman of color.
Mary Church Terrell was one of the first African American woman to earn a degree. She has a master’s in education from Oberlin college.
The daughter of two former slaves turned successful business owners grew to be a trailblazing leader that pushed towards uplifting the African American community.
Terrell was a fearless activist, educator, and author.
After her friend Thomas was lynched in 1892 due to business competition with whites, her honorable journey began.
As an advocate for women rights Mary Church Terrell served as an active member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in which she addressed issues regarding black women. In 1896 she founded the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and was president until 1901.
After being refused service by a whites-only restaurant in 1950, Terrell tackled segregated restaurants in her new home of Washington, D.C. Later leading to a court order that ruled that all segregated restaurants in the city were unconstitutional.
Terrell`s organizations strove to reach social and educational reform and eliminate discriminatory practices.
She may not be popularized compared to others, but she definitely made an impact in our history.
Happy Black History Month in honor of Mrs. Mary Church Terrell!
Written By Intern Zainab J. Kabia