Nannie Helen Burroughs

A Great Woman - Mary B. Talbert - Undated

Nannie Helen Burroughs
December 31, 1969
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Miss Nannie H. Burroughs

MARY B. TALBERT was a trail blazer - educated - good-looking cultured - well dressed - but challengingly rugged. She was among the first Oberlin College graduates, and her achievements are a credit to that great institution. Mary B. Talbert lived in Buffalo, New York, and by her achievements she was better known throughout the nation than was the city from which she haled.

Mary Talbert was elected President of the National Association of Colored Women in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 28, 1916. That was a great day! It marked the closing of one great epoch in the history of the Association, and the beginning of another. Up to that time, the National Association did not have any great objective through which it could symbolize its high ideals. But, at Baltimore there was a meeting of the great minds of Margaret Murray Washington and Mary B. Talbert, and because of that meeting of great minds, the National Association took over the Frederick Douglass Memorial Home to redeem and restore, and to reincarnate the great spirit of Frederick Douglass in Negro Americans.

Mary B. Talbert literally rolled up her sleeves and went to work. Douglass’ home was redeemed and restored, and five years later, in 1922, women came to Washington from all over America to dedicate it as their first shrine to freedom and progress. That achievement made the National Association of Colored Women more power conscious than it had ever been.

Had it not been for Mary B. Talbert, Douglass’ home would have been lost to the race. She actually gave her 1 life to redeem it. We shall ever honor her for her vision, sacrifice, courage and love.

This matchless and magnificent woman passed the torch to us and bade us-

Climb high

Climb far

Your goal the sky

Your aim a star.

And don’t fail to “lift” as you climb.