Mary Church Terrell was born on September 23, 1863 in Memphis, Tennessee. The daughter of small business owners who were former slaves, she attended Oberlin College. She was a suffragist, first president of the National Association of Colored Women and–at the suggestion of W.E.B. Du Bois–a charter member of the NAACP. An early advocate of women’s rights, Terrell was an active member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, addressing in particular the concerns of black women. The Mary Church Terrell Literary Club, located in Jackson, Mississippi, is named in her honor.
© March 2011