Mary McLeod Bethune and the Black Velvet Rose

“I never saw a garden so beautiful, roses of all colors. And in the midst of the garden I saw a great big Black Velvet Rose. I never saw a Black Velvet Rose before and I said to myself, ‘Oh! This is the great interracial garden; this is the garden where we have people of all colors, all classes, all creeds. People, every single one of them, getting their full chance to become the best they can become. This shall always be before me as a great Interracial Garden where men and women of all tongues, all nations, all creeds, all classes blend together helping to send out sunshine and love and peace and brotherhood that makes a better world in which to live.’”

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