Civil Rights

Susie McDonald

Susie  McDonald, a prominent figure in Montgomery, was a multifaceted individual with a significant impact on her community. As a businesswoman, political activist, educator, philanthropist, and member of one of Montgomery’s prominent families, she left an indelible mark on the city and its residents.

After attending Fisk University for a year, Mrs. McDonald returned to Montgomery and dedicated herself to various endeavors that would benefit the community. She briefly taught at a local school before embarking on a significant project – the establishment of “McDonald’s Farm.” This entertainment center not only housed a restaurant but also boasted one of the first public swimming pools in Montgomery. The center served as more than just a recreational facility; it became a hub for charitable events, raising funds for causes such as the March of Dimes and providing assistance to the hungry during the challenging years of the Great Depression.

Following the historic ruling in Browder v Gayle, Mrs. McDonald found herself facing potential retaliation from white individuals who were angered by the outcome. In response, her son took on the responsibility of standing guard at night, ensuring her safety during this tumultuous period. Despite the risks, Mrs. McDonald remained steadfast in her commitment to civil rights activism. She actively participated in voting rights efforts and even opened her home to provide shelter for civil rights workers, demonstrating her unwavering dedication to the cause.

In addition to her business ventures and civil rights activism, Mrs. McDonald was deeply involved in her local community as a member of St. Jude Catholic Church. Her contributions extended beyond her professional and political pursuits, encompassing her commitment to faith and service.

Mrs. McDonald’s legacy continues to resonate in Montgomery, serving as a testament to the profound impact one individual can have on their community. Her multifaceted contributions as a business leader, activist, educator, philanthropist, and community member have left an enduring imprint on the city and its residents.

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