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Amazon Presents Denver Film Hosts Women + Film Awards Luncheon

Source: Tom Cooper / Getty

Teachers have one of the most important jobs – they always have and they always will. Educators don’t only teach facts, but they shape the way their students view the world. They don’t simply dish out the knowledge found in books and newspapers. Teachers influence the way students think and expand their minds to connect dots in new ways. If you want to know what humanity will look like in 100 years, look at our teachers. It starts with them.

Black educators have played a particularly important and unique role in the educational system. Many have advocated for adjustments to the curriculum, better representation in required reading and more inclusive lesson plans. In one of the toughest jobs – shaping a student’s mind – Black teachers take on even the most difficult parts of that job, because they often face systemic racism and small-minded authority figures. That’s why when a Black teacher makes history, it is truly impactful. Here are Black female educators who have made history.



Mary McLeod Bethune

1875 – 1955

Bethune-Cookman College

Source: Heritage Images / Getty


Mary McLeod Bethune was a highly impressive individual who broke barriers in government, education and civil rights. She created Bethune-Cookman College, which started as a boarding school and went onto become one of the most influential educational institutions in the community of Black colleges. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed her director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration.

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