Mary Church Terrell: An Original Oberlin Activist

About this Project

A white woman has only one handicap to overcome - that of sex.  I have two - both sex and race.  I belong to the only group in this country which has two such huge obstacles to surmount.

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954), renowned internationally for her achievements as an educator, writer, lecturer, suffragist, and civil rights leader, is one of Oberlin College's most accomplished graduates. As a woman of mixed race born in the South during the Civil War and who lived to see the Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education, it was fitting that she attended Oberlin, the first college to admit students regardless of race or gender.

This exhibition of materials from the Oberlin College Archives explores the life and work of Mary Church Terrell through four lenses: learning, labor, leadership, and legacy.

Additional material may be added to the site over the course of the year.

Site Conventions

In keeping with nineteenth century usage and with the words of Mary Church Terrell herself, we use the term "colored" when referring to African Americans.  

Throughout the project we refer to Mary Church Terrell's memoir, A Colored Woman in a White World, as CWWW.  

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