Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. She served as a New Deal government official in one of the 20 highest-level offices held by women in the administration, and the highest held by an African American woman; was founder of FDR’s “black cabinet”; served as president of the National Association of Colored Women; founded and served as president of the National Council of Negro Women.
Bethune comes to life from May 17 1954 and shares fascinating stories of her extraordinary contribution to democracy. She will then answer questions. After Dr. Bethune “leaves”, Ms. Odom will answer questions regarding her research.<
About the Speaker:
Ersula Knox-Odom is an author, legacy writer/reporter with approximately 100 articles to her credit, workshop leader, Florida Humanities Council Viva La Florida performer as Mary McLeod Bethune, motivational speaker and prize winning life lyricist. She is a member of African American Historical & Genealogical Society and Zeta Phi Beta. A graduate of Eckerd College, she lives in the Tampa Bay Area.
Ersula has the uncommon ability to successfully address multi-generational and multi-cultural audiences by sharing life experiences from rural life, college life, corporate management, motherhood, entrepreneurship, sales, self-publishing and genealogy, her signature seminar being “Unlocking Your Wisdom”.
About her latest book, released late last year by Arcadia Publishing, African Americans of Tampa Bay, she comments: “I am totally enjoying this journey. I got to peek into the past and capture names and faces of wonderful people who should be remembered and introduce their stories.” Odom says that Tampa has a fascinating past that has been wonderfully documented with one exception: African Americans. This culturally rich community is virtually invisible in the eyes of history. Tampa’s population exploded during the early 1900’s, and the building boom universally required the skills and talents of African Americans, who provided services, labor, and entrepreneurship in a massive form. They played significant roles in everything from Tampa’s wilderness era to its boom town years and were key players in the first and second Seminole Wars with their Seminole alliance. African American soldiers captured Fort Brooke during the Civil War and fought in the Spanish-American War. Residents have endured Jim Crow, desegregation, and racial unrest yet thrived as entrepreneurs. Black Cubans, as part of the greater African American community, enabled Tampa’s world-renowned cigar industry. The photographs found in her book clearly illustrate Tampa’s social and productive African American community. Ms Odom will have copies of this book on hand for anyone who wishes to purchase one after the program.
The Manatee County Historical Commission and the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court Comptroller, R.B. “Chips” Shore, Department of Historical Resources, are pleased to host the presentation for the public.
When: Saturday, March 14th from 11 am – 12 Noon.
Where: The Historic Church at Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Avenue East (State Road 64) Bradenton, Florida.
Funding for this program has been provided by the Florida Humanities Council and is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.” Admission is Free. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info call (941) 741-4076