Title page for ETD etd-050799-140251

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wright, Robert Brian
Author's Email Address rbwrig@yahoo.com
URN etd-050799-140251
Title The Idealistic Realist: Mary McLeod Bethune, The National Council of Negro Women and the National Youth Administration
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Farrar, Hayward Committee Chair
Jones, Kathleen W. Committee Member
Rosenburg, R. B. Committee Member
  • Mary McLeod Bethune
  • National Youth Administration
  • Nation Council of Negro Women
  • Division of Negro Affairs
Date of Defense 1999-04-27
Availability unrestricted
The Idealistic Realist: Mary McLeod Bethune, The National Council of Negro Women and The National Youth Administration.

Robert Brian Wright


The available literature on Mary Mcleod Bethune is very similar. Though it may look at various aspects of her life, it does so on the same plane. It gives an overview. In otherwords, it skims over her life, focusing only on the very narrow - and positive - aspects. She was the founder and president of a black college. She was head of a federal agency during the New Deal. She was head of a million member black women's organization. But what do these "highlightings" tell of Bethune and the world in which she worked?

The point of this paper is to vary a little from the present literature. By taking a closer look at two of Bethune's organizations: the National Council of Negro Women and the Nation Youth Administration's Division of Negro Affairs, perhaps we can tell a little more of who Bethune really was and how important her work was to her. By "humanizing" Bethune, we may get a better understanding of what it meant to be a minority in a racist nation during a trying time.

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