This collection honors the legacy of Mary Matthews Edwards (1919-2014), a longtime Media resident and one of the borough's best known social activists. Born in Baltimore, she was the daughter of Rev. Elizabeth Bland Oveide and William E. Oveide. After moving with her family to Media when a child, Mary became a member of the Campbell A.M.E. Church and attended Media High School. She worked as a teacher's assistant at Media-Providence Friends School, and later as an administrator at Glen Mills School and the Media Fellowship House. At age 60 she began studies at the Delaware County Community College.
Throughout her life she was involved in local, national, and international projects and groups promoting social justice and improved human relations, including the American Friends Service Committee, Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center, the NAACP, and the National Association of Negro Women. As a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, she traveled to India and Scandinavia working to unite women worldwide to oppose oppression and exploitation.
The collection includes photographs, letters, family records, and newspaper articles from Mary's scrapbooks. Besides her family life, these items cover Mary's political activities (including a stint as chair of the Media Democratic Committee) and, more generally, a series of racist incidents in Media and Delaware County in the late 1990s and the response of Mary and others to these crimes.
She was married to John J. Edwards, Sr., and they had two children, Juanita and John Jr.
Thanks to Mary's daughter, Juanita Edwards, for allowing MHAC to scan and post this collection of digital images and documents, which reflect a long commitment by Mary M. Edwards to better the lives of all Media residents. Juanita Edwards retains the original items and any rights to reproduce them.