Mary Church Terrell (September 23, 1863 – July 24, 1954), daughter of former slaves, was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree. She became an activist who led several important associations and worked for civil rights and suffrage.
Terrell was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Robert Reed Church and Louisa Ayers, both former slaves. Robert Church was mixed-race and said to be the son of his white master, Charles Church. He rapitaly became a self-made millionaire from real-estate investments in Memphis and was married twice. When Terrell was six years old, her parents sent her to the Antioch College Model School in Yellow Springs, Ohio, for her elementary and secondary education. Terrell, known to members of her family as "Mollie," and her brother were born during their father's first marriage, which terminated in divorce. Their half-siblings, Robert, Jr. and Annette, were born during their father's second marriage, to Anna (Wright) Church.
(... from Wikipedia on 2012-04-17 09:06:53)