LITANY & LEGACY OF MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE
P – The Negro’s growth will be great in the years to come. Theirs will be a better world.
L – I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another.
P – As long as Negroes are hemmed into racial blocs by prejudice and pressure, it will be necessary for them to band together for economic betterment.
L- Sometimes I ask myself if I have any other legacy to leave. Truly my worldly possessions are few. Yet, my experiences have been rich. From them, I have distilled the meaning of my life’s works. Here, then is my legacy.
L – I leave you love. Love builds.
P – Our aim must be to create a world of fellowship and justice where no man’s skin, color, or religion is held against him. Loving your neighbor means being interracial, interreligious and international.
L – I leave you hope.
L – I leave you a thirst for education. Knowledge is the prime need of the hour.
P- We will be able to rear increasing numbers of strong, purposeful men and women, equipped with vision, mental clarity, health and education.
L – I leave you respect for the uses of power. We live in a world which respects power above all things.
P- Power intelligently directed, can lead to more freedom. Unwisely directed, it can be a dreadful, destructive force. Power should always be placed on the side of human justice.
L – I leave you faith. Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.
P- Faith in God is the greatest power, but great too, is faith in oneself. Our forefathers never lost faith. We must never forget their sufferings and their sacrifices, for they were the foundations of the progress of our people.
L – I leave you racial dignity. I want Negroes to maintain their human dignity at all costs.
P- We have given something to the world as a race and we are proud and fully conscious of our place in the total picture of mankind’s development.
L – I leave you a desire to live harmoniously with your fellow men.
P- The problem of color is worldwide. It is found in Africa and Asia, Europe and South America. I appeal to American Negroes-North, South, East, West – to recognize their common problems and unite to solve them.
L – I leave you finally a responsibility to our young people. The world around us really belongs to youth for youth will take over its future management.
P- Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world. They must not be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness, for they are to be the leaders of tomorrow.
L – We must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.
All – Faith, courage, brotherhood, sisterhood, dignity, ambition, responsibility, these are needed today as never before. We must cultivate and sharpen these tools in the struggle that faces us and find new ways of using them. The Freedom Gates are half-ajar. We must pry them fully open.