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Mary L. Burch

Mary L. Burch was born in the town of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Her father, a sharecropper, divided his time between Arkansas and the seasonal harvest of California, leaving Mary unable to finish out a school year in one place. At the age of fourteen, she got married as a way of escape from the unrest she had living under her father's rule. At sixteen, Mary needed to find a way to support her children and knew she needed to acquire an education to maintain a livelihood. The freedom she was so anxious to acquire only held more challenges for her to overcome. At the time, Mary L. Burch did not realize that her life's journey would help to give her the tenacity to move forward and become an advocate for many.