ROBERT LLOYD: It would be a cruel irony to lose Bethune’s legacy now – Opinion – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online


We stare at the cruel and ironic prospect of the celebration of Dr. Bethune’s statue in Washington, D.C. while the classrooms in her namesake school stand empty and quiet.

Life is full of irony. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball on the ball field that bears his name on City Island in downtown Daytona Beach and, for the rest of his baseball career, wore the number “42” on his jersey. In a cruel twist of irony, Jackie Robinson Ballpark and its Tortugas are targeted as one of 42 minor league baseball teams for elimination in the latest scheme proposed by Major League Baseball. Likewise, Dr. Mary Jane McLeod Bethune founded her school, now known as Bethune-Cookman University, in Daytona Beach and became an international figure and visionary leader for education and civil rights. In 2018, the state of Florida selected her for immortalized recognition in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Ironically, her statue may be erected in the U.S. Capitol in the same year that her school closes its doors.

[READ MORE: Our View: It’s make or break time for Bethune-Cookman]

The financial trouble of Bethune-Cookman…

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