Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune statue in the Capitol of the United States.

Dear NCNW Members,

All two million of us should be beaming with untold pride as our renowned Founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, stands majestically, exuding power and an invitational presence, in the Capitol of the United States of America!!! What an unprecedented glorious week in American history this has been!!!

If the world did not know about Dr. Bethune, Bethune- Cookman University, and the National Council of Negro Women, they know now.

She stands representing the State of Florida where a former Floridian Statesman once stood. She is the only woman of color so honored. And unprecedented, too, is the sculptor, Nilda Maria Comas, a Puerto Rican who sculpted the statue with the purest of Italian marble. She captured every aspect of Dr. Bethune’s life in her tedious research that her skilled fingers created into a powerful awe inspiring, breath-taking work to behold!!

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune statue in the Capitol of the United States.

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of The House of Representatives, opened and closed the ceremonies and the flow was punctuated with other notables:

The US Army Color Guard; The US Air Force Band Singing Sergeants; Dr. Barry Black, US Senate Chaplain; Honorable Kathy Castor, US Representative, Fourth District of Florida; Nancy Lohman, President of the Bethune Statuary Fund, Inc.; The Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale; The Honorable Michael Waltz, US Representative of the Sixth District of Florida; The Honorable Val Demings, US Representative of the Tenth District of Florida; The Honorable Frederica Wilson, Representative of the Twenty-Fourth District of Florida; The Honorable James Clyburn, Majority Whip of the US House of Representatives; The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Republican Leader of the US House of Representatives; The Honorable Marco Rubio, US Senator of Florida; and Dr. Margaret Grun Kibben, Chaplain of the House of Representatives.

Oh, the feeling of pride and joy cannot be captured in my limited vocabulary, but I shout for all to hear, I am proud to be a member of the National Council of Negro Women. Please take little girls and boys to tour the Capitol so they, too, can strengthen their belief in oneself.

And I leave you with her paraphrased words:

“My sons and daughters, you are the United Nations of the world. I pass the torch to you. Take the torch higher and higher. Build a bridge that unites men and women of the world in the name of freedom and justice. Build that bridge in the name of tolerance. Build it in the name of human rights. Build that bridge in the name of peace and prosperity. Build it in the name of God.”

She wanted black women to be in the seat of power with a collective voice in public affairs. Now, MAJESTICALLY she stands as her indomitable spirit, faith, courage, and hope propel us on to a powerful future!!

Thanks to all!!

Thelma T. Daley
NCNW, President

Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members!  Join here!