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Mary Church Terrell was born September 23, 1863 to former slaves Robert Reed Church and Louisa Ayres Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father, a businessman, was one of the South’s first African American millionaires, and her mother owned a hair salon.  Terrell earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from Oberlin College and became a teacher at an all-black school in Washington, D.C. Terrell developed an interest in the rights and progress of black women, and in 1896 was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), where her words “lifting as we climb”, was later adopted as the NACW's motto. She advocated reforms for women in academia and publicly denounced lynching and segregation. She was both amongst the founders and charter members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1940, she published her autobiography A Colored Woman in a White World

Autobiography and Personal Documents: 

A Colored Woman in a White World

Mary Church Terrell (1940) 

Unpublished Papers of Mary Church Terrell

Mary Eliza Church Terrell (2004) 

"Mary Church Terrell's Letters from Europe to Her Father" 

Negro Hisotry Bulletin 39, No. 6 

Sammy M. Miller, Mary E. Church 

Notable Women of the Suffrage Movement | The Frick Pittsburgh

"Sep 13, 2018 - Mary Church Terrell died in 1954, just two months after the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, a fitting "bookend" to her life which began just after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Mary Church Terrell picketing a segregated lunch counter."

Mary Church Terrell: Online Resources: (Virtual Programs & Services)

"A digital collections of the Library of Congress that contains a wide variety of material associated with Mary Church Terrell, including manuscripts, photographs, and books."

Learning from Activist Mary Church Terrell | Oberlin College 

Information about Mary Church Terrell's life as well as a Symposium hosted by Oberlin College in her honor. 

Main Library Will Be Named for Activist, Alumna Mary Church Terrell 

"May 22, 2018 - An exhibit focused on Mary Church Terrell's life. Plans are also in the works for a traveling exhibit focused on Terrell's life."

Mary Church Terrell | DEV: National Women's History Museum

"Mary Eliza Church Terrell was a well-known African American activist who championed racial equality and women’s suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th century. An Oberlin College graduate, Terrell was part of the rising black middle and upper class who used their position to fight racial discrimination." 

Mary Church Terrell | National Portrait Gallery

Culture: Mary Church Terrell: American\African American Art Exhibition."

Mary Church Terrell - Spartacus Educational

"Biography of Mary Church Terrell."

African American History Month - Exhibits and Collections

Board at Fifty Exhibition (Library of Congress) ... Amazing Americans: Activist Mary Church Terrell(Library of Congress) · Florida Folklife from ... Places Reflecting America's Diverse Cultures TravelItinerary highlighting NPS parks"

Traveling Exhibit - Panels | Brown Foundation

Board of Education - In Pursuit of Freedom & Equality - Traveling Exhibit. Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954), during her Oberlin College years.

Mary Church Terrell :: Traveling Culture - Circuit Chautauqua


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