Mary McLeod Bethune Essay

This essay has a total of 476 words and 2 pages.

Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune was an innovative leader because she took a story which was largely
latent in the population, equal education rights for black children, and brought it to
national prominence through the creation of the Bethune-Cookman college. She was also a
visionary leader because of the incredible success she was able to attain in advancing the
cause of equal education.

Bethune was such an effective leader because both she completely embodied her story and it
became completely central to her life and persona. Bethune was able to embark on her
incredible quest because of the educational opportunities she was provided by missionary
teachers and therefore dedicated her life to ensuring that every black child had the
opportunity to advance and prove themselves through education. In Leading Minds, Howard
Gardner describes the many characteristics which comprise his cognitive model of
leadership. In this brief biographical excerpt, Bethune meets them all.

One of the characteristics Gardner uses to quantify cognitive leadership is the
acquisition of power and the use of this power to implement policy. The segregated and
patriarchical nature of the society Bethune lived in made it extremely difficult for her
advance herself or her vision of equal opportunity education. However, despite these
challenges, she was able to rise to a position of national prominence as a director of the
division of Negro affairs of the National Youth Administration and a President and trustee
of the school she created from its creation to her own death. This alone would not qualify
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