A Voice From The South Analysis

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When Anna Julia Cooper died at the age of 105 in 1964, she left behind accomplishments remarkable for anyone, let alone a woman of color at a time when social taboos, laws, and even attitudes of fellow African American activists were obstacles to achievement. Cooper declared herself "the voice of the South," speaking for black women, recently freed from legalized slavery when her best-known book was published in 1892. Scholars consider A Voice from the South by aBlack Woman of the South the first work by an African-American feminist. Most sources cite Cooper's birth year as August 10, 1858. Her mother, Hannah Stanley Haywood, was a slave; Cooper's father was probably her mother's owner, George Washington Haywood. Cooper was six or seven…show more content…
Washington High prepared students for a college education and offered some business courses as well, but during the 1890s a racist sentiment developed that African Americans should restrict themselves to vocational education or the trades, and not pursue college degrees. Booker T. Washington, founder of Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, espoused the view that blacks should first build economic independence, then agitate for equality. Cooper argued that gifted African Americans should be given equal access to higher learning. In her A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South, first published in 1892, Cooper wrote about intellectual abilities and the benefit of holding a degree. She was an ardent champion of education for African American women. Elsewhere Cooper wrote that "the race is young and full of elasticity and hopefulness... its achievements are before it." Feminist and African American historians have deemed A Voice from the South the wellspring of modern black feminist thought. Even legislated equal rights for white women in America were still nothing but a hope at the time of its publication, and the idea that African American women should and could demand to be heard and their concerns be addressed was…show more content…
Yet an education bill in Congress presented a special curriculum for African American schools, and the efforts of Cooper and other educators eventually buried it. At M Street, she instituted a rigorous curriculum and saw success when some students won admittance to Ivy League schools like Harvard, and formed a scholarship fund to aid college-bound students. The local school board was particularly set against Cooper and her lofty goals for students; they tried to curtail her activities and when she disobeyed their injunctions, they fired her in 1906. Her biographer, Leona Gabel, wrote there was "pressure from Tuskegee to drop

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