What It Means To Be Colored In The United States

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Mary Church Terrell’s “What it Means to Be Colored in the United States” speech was delivered on October 10, 1906 at the United Women’s Club in Washington D.C. In this speech Terrell is speaking out about the injustices happening in America’s capitol against African Americans. She gives many personal experiences, and examples of how African Americans are still being treated like second class citizens in “The Colored Man’s Paradise” also known as Washington D.C. which speaks to how Terrell was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1863, and was the daughter of former slaves. Her parents sent her to a type of boarding school when she was young for elementary and secondary school. Mary then attended Oberlin College in Ohio, and was one of few African American women attending. She was one of the first African American women to have earned a college degree. She had a major in classics, and earned her master’s degree in 1888. Mary then went on to break many molds in America. Mary was the first black women appointed to the Board of Education, she became the first president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, and she was the first women president of the Bethel Literary and Historical Society. Mary speaks about the trials and tribulations African Americans had to endure during the early 1900’s, and how situations continue to worsen as time goes on. In her speech she goes on to make references how colored people are not being treated fairly and with dignity she believes they deserve. She makes it easy for her listeners to understand these injustices by referencing topics her audience can relate to. Her story about how a young colored women was turned away from a job just because the color of her skin can be linked with how women with higher capabilities than their male counterparts are still not receiving the position. Her last few sentences on how

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