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The purpose of Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State is to help readers understand what Mrs. Bethune has done in her lifetime. How she was the fifth of seventeen children. Along with her parents being former slaves this did not stop her strive for greatness. From being the daughter of former slaves to being part of multiple councils, boards, and associations we see how Mrs. Bethune achieved it all step by step. The thesis of Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State is to inform readers about the struggles that not only Mary McLeod Bethune endured, but also black America at that time. Within the novel the author says that ” Local African Americans, including carpenters, helped build the first building- Faith Hall- while others donated dishes and food from their gardens.”(pg.13) It is also stated in the book that” she sold sweet potato pies as a way to raise funds; she also sold boiled eggs to local railroad workers for lunch.”(pg.13) This shows that nothing came easy for Mrs. Bethune and that she had to get help from her community as well. The novel gives a great example of how Mrs. Bethune wanted the kids to be happy and strive as much as she did. According to (pg.14) in the novel it states “She also ensured the football team, started shortly after the merger, remained a part of the school, despite the fact that, initially, it cost the school quite a bit to maintain it. She vowed to raise money to keep the program alive, and she did”. She did a great amount with trying to end segregation. Within the book there were 2 acts of her trying to weed out segregation one of which was when she would have her sunday meetings blacks and whites would have to sit together.(pg.19) Another was when she went to a segregated Orlando stadium to hear somebody speak and she sat in the Whites only section to get a good seat. When they pointed to the sign she told them ” I know, I can read” this happens on (pg.21). I find the book rather intriguing and also informational. Most biographies are rather boring and uninteresting. The purpose was to interpret what Mary McLeod Bethune has done in her lifetime and Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston did just exactly that. The book was very easy to read I would definitely recommend it to high schoolers and college kids. My favorite part was in part two Maintaining the Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune at The Foundation historic Home. Within this part they tell us that she became the first to get plumbing and electricity, and also she met with other leaders to work on desegregation. Another one of my favorite parts is when Jackie Robinson was denied the right to play baseball in Jacksonville and also was threatened by whites in Sanford. Mr. Robinson decided to go to Daytona Beach to play which opened the doors for him to play major League Baseball. (she was a friend to me part IV). This book makes a historical contribution of telling a story about what the challenges are in the south through the eyes of an African American in the south. The book  “Mary McLeod Bethune: Words of Wisdom” by Chiazam Ugo Okoye is Mary McLeod Bethune’s life told as a very in depth story. “The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune” written by Nancy Ann Zrinyi Long is a book written off of 30 different interviews. Both books give a new interpretation of Mary McLeod Bethune’s life. The book Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State was great. I highly recommend this to people between the ages of 14 and up. The writing style is superb because it goes as a timeline so you can understand and follow along easily. The book shines light on important moments in her life, for example in the part of the book ( Rallying Black Voters) The KKK came to the school to stop Mrs. Bethune from getting more blacks to vote. I feel as though this book helps expose readers to one of many influential African American Females of that time. Within the conclusion Dr. Preston talks about how Mrs. Bethune’s legacy still stands in many different ways. Bethune Cookman University still stands today while having not only her house still on campus but also her grave site. Her legacy also stays alive by the councils she was in and created that still thrive for change today.

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