Terrell, Mary Church

Terrell, Mary Church

(1863–1954) civil rights activist; born in Memphis, Tenn. The daughter of former slaves, Terrell's life spanned the period from the Emancipation Proclamation to the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was illegal. After graduating from Oberlin College (1884), she taught for several years, then moved to Europe seeking greater freedom both as an African-American and as a woman. Returning to the United States after two years, she founded the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in 1896; as NACW president, she spearheaded attempts to aid mothers and children. After decades of quiet service, in the 1950s she led the fight to desegregate restaurants in Washington, D.C., picketing with the aid of a cane. On June 8, 1953, the district court declared Washington's segregated restaurants illegal.
References in periodicals archive ?
Terrell, Mary Church. "Lynching from a Negro's Point of View." North Atlantic Review June 1904: 853-68.