December 9, 2023

August 10, 1858? is the birthdate of Anna Julia Cooper.

Anna J. Cooper was one of the most prominent African-American scholars in the 19th and 20thcenturies. She worked tirelessly to give a voice to African-Americans, from the end of slavery to the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Cooper published her first book, A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South, in 1892. In addition to calling for equal education for women, A Voice from the South advanced Dr. Cooper’s assertion that educated African American women were necessary for uplifting the entire black race. The book of essays gained national attention, and Cooper began lecturing across the country on topics such as education, civil rights, and the status of black women. In 1925, at the age of 67, Cooper became the fourth African American woman to obtain a Doctorate of Philosophy.  In the current U.S. Passport, several  American men are quoted for their wise sayings, but  Anna Julia Cooper is the only woman of any color who is quoted.   Hers reads:

 “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.”  

On February 27, 1964, Dr.Cooper died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 105, having been an effective advocate for African-Americans from the post-slavery era to the civil rights movement.

C-SPAN Cities Tour - Raleigh: Anna Julia Cooper

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