Mary Church Terrell
"I am urging the Post and others willing to advance our interests and deal justly with our group to stop using the word, 'Negro.' The word is a misnomer from every point of view. It does not represent a country or anything else....
To be sure the complexion of the Chinese and Japanese is yellow. But nobody refers to an individual in either group as a colored man.... They say he is Chinese.... When I studied abroad and was introduced as an 'American' ... occasionally somebody would say, 'You are rather dark to be an American, aren't you?' 'Yes,' I would reply, 'I am dark because some of my ancestors were Africans.' I was proud of having the continent of Africa part of my ancestrial background. 'I am an African-American,' I would explain. I am not ashamed of my African decent. Africa had great universities before there were any in England and the African was the first man industrious and skillful enough to work in iron. If our group must have a special name setting it apart, the sensible way to settle it would be to refer to our ancestors, the Africans, from whom our swarthy complexions come."
Mary Church Terrell Was Born During The Civil War, In 1863. She Graduated From Oberlin College in 1884, And Was One Of The First Black Women In America To Receive A College Degree.
She Was A Charter Member And First President Of The National Association Of Colored Women.
Mary Church Terrell Died In 1954.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.