Anna Julia Cooper (b. 1858—d. 1964)

Anna Julia Cooper (b. 1858—d. 1964)

Born a slave in North Carolina in 1858, Cooper lived to be a writer, teacher, and activist. She attended Oberlin College and graduated in 1884 with her bachelor’s degree and in 1887 with her master’s degree in mathematics. Cooper later obtained her Ph.D. in history from the University of Paris- Sorbonne in 1925, becoming the fourth black woman to earn a doctorate. After graduating from Oberlin, she taught first at both Wilberforce University and Saint Augustine’s before moving to Washington D. C and teaching high school, later becoming principal at Dunbar High School. Second, to her career as an educator, Cooper was a writer—publishing A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South (1892), a work that examined systemic oppression and its relationship to race, class, and gender. She also wrote The Higher Education of Women, identifying the benefits of women gaining access to education. She echoed these sentiments in her public speaking — in 1893, speaking at the Chicago World’s Fair, she identified the needs of black women; she also spoke at the first Pan-African Conference in London in 1900. Outsider her writing and public speaking she was a clubwoman – helping to found the Colored Women’s League in 1892 and joining the executive committee of the first Pan-African Conference in 1900.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Biography:

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Julia Cooper Episcopal School Short Biography:

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