The city dump.
That’s what it was that day in 1904 when a young black woman, Mary McCloud Bethune, saw it. Nevertheless, she and other willing hands built a shack on that desolate place, for she had a dream that, with God’s help, she could help other black women learn to read and write. The first desks were wooden packing crates; the ink was blackberry juice.
As I wandered among the collection of tall buildings, classrooms and dormitories that is now Bethune-Cookman College, I stopped at a plain stone that marks the place where Mrs. Bethune’s body was laid to rest at the age of seventy-nine. It had taken more than half a century for her dream to become a reality. The words carved on that stone told her whole story:
“She has given her best so that others might live a more abundant life.”
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