Activism and Education in Logan Circle: Mary McLeod Bethune and Ida E. Jones

Dr. Ida E. Jones, author of a new work on Mary McLeod Bethune’s educational activism, joins The Education Town Hall Thursday, August 22, at 11:00 a.m. Dr. Jones will introduce her new book and participate in a wider conversation: “Education as a Civil Right”: A Look Back and Forward. This week’s program is part of a month-long focus on renewing a dialogue about race and education in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Listen live on (1480 AM in the DC area)
— and join the conversation by calling 202-889-9797 —
or review the full broadcast at your convenience

(shows are posted shortly after air time).

The Book

Mary McLeod Bethune in Washington, DC: Activism & Education in Logan Circle, Dr. Ida E Jones with Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, History Press, 2013.

From press materials:

Mrs. Bethune’s residency in Washington at 1318 Vermont Avenue fulfilled a longstanding dream to house a national Negro women’s organization in the nation’s capital to lobby for the rights of Negro women and children. Moreover, the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women served as the community space where the world could meet and engage Negro women as citizens. The business affairs of the NCNW such as publishing and mailing the Telefacts newsletter, Aframerican Women’s Journal, as well as housing the archives and library, provided the membership and visitors with information on the accomplishments of Negro women. Moreover, the House provided an intangible sense of success and status for Negro women where international guests from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean were received and able to explore the history and culture of Negro womanhood as created and presented by themselves.

Mrs. Bethune’s Washington years wrought changes in international, national and local policies that contributed to dismantling segregation. As a resident, she was fully involved in the local issues, people and institutions that comprised that community. Her leadership, celebrity and residency in Logan Circle inspired black women and girls throughout Washington who admired her tenacity and accomplishments. It is my hope that examining select activities of Bethune during her Washington residency will provide insight into the struggle for justice that she and other black Washingtonians sought while shadowed under the federal government….

In conclusion, Bethune’s residency in Washington ushered in the modern civil rights movement. Every blow to the monster of segregation weakened it, allowing the events of 1963 to slay the hydra-headed beast. Her entire public life was dedicated to reconstructing the image of black womanhood. Her childhood desire to learn, her school, her organizational affiliations and the organizations she founded sought to place black womanhood into the narrative of human history as daughters of God and sisters of humanity.

Available from Teaching for Change

Author: Ida E Jones

Ida E. Jones is the Assistant Curator of Manuscripts at the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. Her area of interest revolves around African American religion, women and archives. She is an adjunct faculty member in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland College Park. Her latest publication, Mary McLeod Bethune in Washington, D.C: Activism and Education in Logan Circle, allowed her to fuse both passions local history and Black women into a detailed examination of Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune as a Washington resident.

A neo-native Washingtonian, she arrived in DC to attend Howard University and has remained a resident since 1988. Her professional interests are grounded in community studies from her early work in journalism and current work in archives. She is deeply involved with the local history community and serves on the DC Historical Studies Conference planning committee; has served several times as a humanities scholar for the DC Humanities Council; given lectures at the CR Gibbs library talks and has served on the DC Emancipation Day committees. Currently, she is the National Director of the Association of Black Women Historians.

Her latest publication, Mary McLeod Bethune in Washington, D.C: Activism and Education in Logan Circle, allowed her to fuse both passions local history and Black women into a detailed examination of Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune as a Washington resident. Ironically, Dr. Jones’s first Washington address was 1239 Vermont Avenue diagonally across from Mrs. Bethune’s address at 1318 Vermont Avenue. This work is full circle for both women who came to Washington and loved its people.

Jones belongs to a number of professional organizations and is currently the National Vice Director of the Association of Black Women Historians. In 2008 she co-edited Emerging Voices and Paradigms, with Dr. Elizabeth Clark-Lewis. In 2009 she wrote the script for Claiming Her Citizen Black Women in American History, an online exhibit documenting the history of Black women, for the National Museum of Women’s History. Her publications include essays, book reviews and encyclopedia entries. Her first book, The Heart of the Race Problem: The Life of Kelly Miller, was published in 2011.

For additional information:

Co-author: Elizabeth Clark-Lewis

Elizabeth Clark-Lewis is a Professor of History and Director, Public History Program at Howard University. She has taught courses on African-American women, women in the United States, African-American history and history of the District of Columbia. As the director of the department’s Public History program, she also has offered courses on museums and archives, oral history, historic preservation and a seminar in the field. She has published books and articles on these subjects, among them First Freed: Emancipation in the District of Columbia (1998), and Living In, Living Out: African American Domestics in Washington, DC (1994).

For additional information:

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