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Heads, Hearts and Hands (Mary McLeod Bethune)
Song For Teaching Lyrics and Sound Clip
Jonathan Sprout

This song is available on Jonathan Sprout's American Heroes #4

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."—Mary McLeod Bethune


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 some day 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!


See more of our Social Studies, Biographical and African American History Song Lyrics

Many thanks to Jonathan Sprout for permission to publish these lyrics.
©Kanukatunes All rights reserved. Used with permission.


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