February 2, 2021

Remembering a champion for civil rights

0.7 min read| Published On: February 2nd, 2021|

By James Combs

Remembering a champion for civil rights

0.7 min read| Published On: February 2nd, 2021|

Mary McLeod Bethune was dubbed as “The First Lady of Struggle.”

Lake Countians can relive the spirit of a pioneering African American woman.

On Feb. 3, Ersual Knox Odom will portray Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune inside the Leesburg Public Library amphitheater. She’ll share impactful moments of Dr. Bethune’s extraordinary life.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune(1875-1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. She served as a New Deal government official, holding one of the 20 highest-level offices held by women in the administration, and the highest held by an African American woman.

She was also the founder of FDR’s Federal Council of Negro Affairs and she served as president of the National Association of Colored Women. In addition, she founded and served as president of the National Council of Negro Women.

The presentation, “Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life,” will be held at 1 p.m.

For more information, call 352.728.9790.





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About the Author: James Combs

James Combs was a pillar of Akers Media Group since its inception in 2008. Over the years, he had the honor of interviewing Lake & Sumter County's most fascinating personalities, from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans, bringing their incredible stories to life. Throughout his career, James earned over 50 awards for writing excellence, a testament to his talent and dedication. In 2021, he was inducted into the Akers Media Group Hall of Fame. Sadly, James passed away in 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer. His legacy of storytelling and excellence continues to inspire us all.

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