Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was once the most influential black woman in America. At 29, she started her own school for African Americans with $1.50, all the money she owned. She became a voice of hope and optimism, inspiring pride and self-confidence in others. Firmly committed to social justice, she taught her students how to succeed, insisting they pay it forward by helping others who were less fortunate. Her non-confrontational style of preferring conference tables to picket lines enabled her to build bridges between black and white communities that advanced the cause for equal rights. She was the first black woman to serve as a presidential advisor and the first black person to have a national monument dedicated to her in Washington, DC.
Enter to learn; depart to serve.—MaryMcLeod Bethune
Heads, Hearts, and Hands
(By Jonathan Sprout and Jimmy Hammer)
You have come here to learn,
And you will leave this place to serve,
For here at our school, we have a plan:
Every door you will open
Opens doors for others, too.
Take pride in everything you do!
Our future depends on you.
Refrain: With your heads, hearts, and hands,
With hope and love,
Heads, hearts, and hands,
We will rise above.
Keep the faith. No matter what the world demands,
Use your heads, hearts, and hands.
Meet adversity with action.
See the challenge as a gift.
Answer those who hate with love.
Teach your young ones to believe
That we can live in harmony.
Rise up! Stand with dignity!
Be the one you were meant to be.
This institution is where we start with our solution.
You’ll learn to read, and you will someday learn to lead.
Your education will save this nation,
Will give us hope for black and white.
Use your heads, hearts, and hands,
And take these wrongs and make them right!
©2014 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) and Sync Track (ASCAP)
Lead vocal: Jonathan Sprout
Drum programming, bass programming, piano, and organ: Joe Mennonna
Guitars: Joe Mennonna and Leslie Chew
Percussion: Jimmy Hammer
Background vocals: Randy Crenshaw (tenor), Charity McCrary (soprano), Linda McCrary (alto), and Ricky Nelson (bass)