Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Shedding a Little Light
On my Examiner.com blog, I wrote an entry about visiting The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, a site that is run by the National Park Service. And I got some highlights into the blog post (like the fact that Ms. Bethune's house has chandeliers that once graced the White House), but I couldn't cram it all in there...
One story about her life exemplifies all those sayings about light casting out darkness.
At some point after she had started the small school that later became Bethune-Cookman College, Bethune did some campaigning for a "progressive" mayoral candidate in Daytona, FL. (Progressive meaning that this candidate was in favor of allowing African-Americans to be educated in public schools.)
A certain white supremacist group (wsg) wanted her to stop canvassing for this candidate. The tour includes a movie about Bethune's life and it is implied that she was likely aware that the wsg wanted her to stop, but she did not.
So the wsg arrived at the school and managed to shut off the electricity to the school's outside lights. Bethune's female students panicked. (The school was all-girls originally and it seems this happened before the school became co-ed.)
Bethune told the girls to turn odd all of their inside lights. She then used generators to power the outside lights...and the wsg fled when flooded with light.