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Mary decided then that the only difference between white and colored people was the ability to read and write. Mc Leod attended Mayesville's one-room black schoolhouse, Trinity Mission School, which was run by the Presbyterian Board of Missions of Freedmen.

She was the only child in her family to attend school, so each day, she taught her family what she had learned.

Thurman was one of the leading theologians of his time, writing the book, "The Negro Spiritual Speaks of Life and Death." He wrote 19 others, including his autobiography in 1979. Reference: The African American Desk Reference Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture Copyright 1999 The Stonesong Press Inc.

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She advised him on concerns of black people and helped share Roosevelt's message and achievements with blacks, who had historically been Republican voters since the Civil War.

At the time, blacks had been largely disenfranchised in the South since the turn of the century, so she was speaking to black voters across the North. Martin said, "She gave out faith and hope as if they were pills and she some sort of doctor." Mc Leod was born in 1875 in a small log cabin near Mayesville, South Carolina, on a rice and cotton farm in Sumter County.

It later continued to develop as Bethune-Cookman University.

She also was appointed as a national adviser to President Franklin D.

The Bethunes moved in 1899; Mary ran the mission school and began an outreach to prisoners.