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Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell


Mary Church Terrell, a prominent African American activist and educator, left an enduring legacy in Washington, DC. Born in 1863, Terrell was a leading figure in the fight for civil rights and women's suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was the first African American woman to earn a college degree, graduating from Oberlin College in 1884.

Terrell's impact in Washington, DC, was profound. She was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), both of which played pivotal roles in advancing the rights of African Americans and women.

In addition to her activism, Terrell was an influential educator, serving as the first black woman appointed to the District of Columbia Board of Education. She tirelessly advocated for educational opportunities for African American children in the nation's capital.

Terrell's legacy in Washington, DC, continues to be celebrated today. Her contributions to the fight for equality and justice serve as a beacon of inspiration for generations of activists and leaders in the city and beyond.

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