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Mary McLeod Bethune, the daughter of slaves, became an early 20th Century educator and civil rights leader, founding both Bethune-Cookman College and the National Council of Negro Women. But Bethune became even more influential as a friend and confidant of Eleanor Roosevelt, and as an advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Negro affairs. Bethune became a member of Roosevelt’s unofficial”Black Cabinet,” the first time Black Americans had that kind of access to the White House. As such, Bethune helped open the very doors that Barack Obama walked through as the first Black president of the United States.

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VIDEO: An Extraordinary Woman, The Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune.

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