Feb 27, 2013

Wednesday Women- Anna J. Cooper

I like to watch Melissa Harris Perry on MSNBC Saturday mornings & it was there last week that I heard about Anna Julia Cooper ....tho she adhered to many of the Victorian social structures of her time, she still championed the rights of black women to educate themselves & speak out against the injustices that were being perpetrated... She was absolutely brilliant....but not as well known as many of the other Civil rights leaders that we know so well today....So lets change that....


"Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (ca. August 10, 1858 – February 27, 1964) was an author, educator, and one of the most prominent African American scholars in United States history. Upon receiving her Ph.D in History from the University of Paris-Sorbonne in 1924, Cooper became the fourth African American woman to earn a doctorate degree. She was also a prominent member of Washington, D.C.'s African American community."
She was married to George Cooper who she met at school but he died at a young age after only two years of marriage...


She was born to a slave woman Hanna Stanley Haywood in 1858..... of her mother she said....

"My mother was a slave and the finest woman I have ever known. . . .Presumably my father was her master, if so I owe him not a sou & she was always too modest & [sic] shamefaced ever to mention him." (Cooper,. 1988, p. xxxi) 

source
Anna Julia earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Oberlin & in 1925 at that age of 67 she received her  Ph.D. in History at the Sorbonne in Paris.....She wrote one book.....A Voice from the South: By A Woman from the South, published in 1892......She gave numerous speeches on Women & Civil Rights......She was a member of many Black women clubs and charity groups.... she was a co-founder of the Colored Women's League in Washington, DC in 1894...she also helped to organize the National Conference of Colorado Women in 1895.

She died at the age of 105 in February, 1964 on the cusp of the signing of the Civil Rights Act in July of 1964......On this 49th anniversary of her death, that Act is now being challenged today by those who wish to take us back to a time when African Americans had no voting rights...Hopefully such a travesty will be averted......She was witness to many decades of changing & evolving civil rights struggles... Hers is an inspiring story & well worth reading....I hope you take the time to acquaint yourself with this woman who made history as a quiet warrior for the rights of African American women as well as for the Civil Rights cause......

On Pages 26 & 27 of every new United States passport is the following quote by this wonderful lady....It should be the motto of this country....

"The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class - it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity." - Anna Julia Cooper






1 comment:

Conversations with the Muses said...

Oh WOW! What a phenomenal woman. I have never heard of her... thank you for bringing her to my attention. There are so many incredible stories out there. I so wish Hollywood would tell them! I would go to far more movies if they did.

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