40+ Best Mary McLeod Bethune Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist best known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida and co-founding UNCF.

She was active nationally in African American affairs and was a special adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the problems of minority groups. Inspirational Mary McLeod Bethune quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for powerful activist quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of top Marcus Garvey quotes, Desmond Tutu quotes, and Dorothea Dix quotes.

Mots Famous Mary McLeod Bethune Quotes

Knowledge is the prime need of the hour.

Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world.

Whatever the white man has done, we have done, and often better.

For I am my mother’s daughter.

I thought, maybe the difference between white folks and colored is just this matter of reading and writing. I made up my mind I would know my letters.

Education is the great American adventure, the world’s most colossal democratic experiment.

You white folks have long been eating the white meat of the chicken. We Negroes are now ready for some of the white meat instead of the dark meat.

The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.

The progress of the world will call for the best that all of us have to give.

In each experience of my life, I have had to step out of one little space of the known light, into a large area of darkness. I had to stand awhile in the darkness, and then gradually God has given me light. But not to linger in. For as soon as that light has felt familiar, then the call has always come to step out ahead again into new darkness.

The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.

If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves.

Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.

What does the Negro want? His answer is very simple. He wants only what all other Americans want. He wants opportunity to make real what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights say, what the Four Freedoms establish. While he knows these ideals are open to no man completely, he wants only his equal chance to obtain them.

Power, intelligently directed, can lead to more freedom. Unwisely directed, it can be a dreadful, destructive force.

To those of you with your years of service still ahead, the challenge is yours. Stop doubting yourselves. Have the courage to make up your minds and hold your decisions. Refuse to be BOUGHT for a nickel, or a million dollars, or a job!

I plunged into the job of creating something from nothing.

The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.

Cease to be a drudge, seek to be an artist.

Inspirational Mary McLeod Bethune Quotes

Whatever glory belongs to the race for a development unprecedented in history for the given length of time, a full share belongs to the womanhood of the race.

Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to build a better world.

We should, therefore, protest openly everything … that smacks of discrimination or slander.

I do feel, in my dreamings and yearnings, so undiscovered by those who are able to help me.

Though I hadn’t a penny left, I considered cash money as the smallest part of my resources. I had faith in a living God, faith in myself, and a desire to serve.

Forgiving is not about forgetting, it’s letting go of the hurt.

A woman is free if she lives by her own standards and creates her own destiny if she prizes her individuality and puts no boundaries on her hopes for tomorrow.

There is a place in God’s sun for the youth farthest down” who has the vision, the determination, and the courage to reach it.

World peace and brotherhood are based on a common understanding of the contributions and cultures of all races and creeds.

If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs.

We live in a world which respects power above all things.

Enter to learn; depart to serve.

Greatness is largely a social accident, and almost always socially supported.

I have had more than half a century of such happiness. A great deal of worry and sorrow, too, but never a worry or a sorrow that was not offset by a purple iris, a lark, a bluebird, or a dewy morning glory.

We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.

Studying goes deeper than mere reading. There are surface nuggets to be gathered but the best of the gold is underneath, and it takes time and labor to secure it.

I never stop to plan. I take things step-by-step.

Next to God we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth living.

Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.

From the first, I made my learning, what little it was, useful every way I could.

I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity.