November 23, 2009
SOC 480-D1/ Sociological Seminar
Fayetteville State University
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1859-1964) was one of the most influential African-American educators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As an activist, author, and scholar, she dedicated her entire life to the education and empowerment of African-American youth and adults. Her commitment and passionate belief in the power of education as a vehicle to social, economic, and political freedom was a driving force in her life. As an author and feminist, Cooper wrote A Voice from the South in 1892. This book consists of a collection of essays that reflects a Black feminist analysis on racism and sexism. It focuses on the race problem in 19th century America as well as educational concerns for African-Americans and higher education for women. This paper will examine Anna Julia Cooper's role as an educational leader as well as her philosophical views on education.
Anna Julia Cooper's legacy is that of an accomplished educator who was an advocate for equitable educational opportunities for African-Americans, females, and low-income adults. For Cooper, education was a liberating force. Unhappy with the existing societal thinking that limited the lives of Blacks and women, Cooper found the strength and resiliency to actively seek solutions to the problems experienced by these groups. She was truly dedicated to helping her students build better lives and realize their dreams and possibilities despite the institutional barriers that blocked them.
She was born Annie Julia Haywood in Raleigh, North Carolina around 1858. Anna was the only daughter of three children; a slave woman named Hannah Stanley Haywood and her father was thought to be her mother’s master. During the years of 1858 and after, Anna endured slavery trades, plus even...