Mary Church Terrell: Advocate for African Americans and Women

Mary Church Terrell was born into a prosperous Memphis family and graduated from Oberlin College in 1895. She became the first black woman appointed to the District of Columbia Board of Education. She was a founding president of the National Association of Colored Women and, in 1909, a founder of the NAACP. Terrell spent her life fighting for the causes of universal suffrage, and the freedom and equality of men and women of all colors in the eyes of the law. She celebrated the achievements of African Americans and women in her many public speeches, and was a much sought-after speaker, famed for her eloquence. Her early life and work helped sustain the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements of the twentieth century.