A Legacy of Love by Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955)  

Mary McLeod Bethune

I leave you love.  Love builds.  It is positive and helpful.  It is more beneficial than hate.  Injuries quickly forgotten quickly pass away.  Our aim must be to create a world of fellowship and justice. “Love thy neighbor” is a precept which could transform the world if it were universally practiced.

I leave you faith.  Without faith, nothing is possible.  With it, nothing is impossible.  Faith in God is the greatest power, but great too is faith in oneself.  Our ancestors struggled for liberty in conditions far more onerous than those we now face, but they never forget their sufferings and their sacrifices, for they were the foundations of the progress of our people.

I leave you racial dignity.  We must recognize that we are the custodians as well as the heirs of a great civilization.  We have given something to the world as a race and for this we are proud and fully conscious of our place in the total picture of mankind’s development.  I have never been sensitive about my complexion.  My color has never destroyed my self-respect nor has it ever caused me to conduct myself in such a manner as to merit the disrespect of any person. 

I leave you fully a responsibility to our young people. 
The world around us really belongs to youth for youth will take over its future management.  Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world.  They must never be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness for they are to be leaders of tomorrow.  Nor must they forget that the masses of our people are still underprivileged, ill-housed, impoverished, and victimized by discrimination.  We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct the power toward good ends.

1 Comment

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One response to “A LEGACY OF LOVE

  1. stephaniegirl

    This is very beautiful. I wish more people take her pearls of wisdom seriously. She obviously loved herself in a time of virulent hatred toward Blacks during Jim and Jane Crow in America. She’s a role model to Black women everywhere.

    Stephanie B.

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