Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

Today the  Episcopalian commemorates the live of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper. A strong woman of faith who fought to be educated as an African-American woman, she was dedicated to the principles of Christian faith as expressed by Anglicans in the United States. It would serve is well in Canada to be reminded today of those who like Haywood Cooper found a voice to fight for justice for all.

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

Here is what shares about her:

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (August 10, c1859- February 27, 1964). Educator, advocate and scholar. Born in Raleigh, North Carolina to an enslaved woman and a white man, presumably her mother’s master, Anna Julia was an academically gifted child and received a scholarship to attend St. Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute, a school founded by the Episcopal Church to educate African-American teachers and clergy. There she began her membership in the Episcopal Church. After forcing her way into a Greek class designed for male theology students, Anna Julia later married the instructor, George A.C. Cooper, the second African-American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in North Carolina. After her husband’s death in 1879, Cooper received degrees in mathematics from Oberlin College, and was made principal of the only African American high school in Washington D.C.. She was denied reappointment in 1906 because she refused to lower her educational standards. Throughout her career, Cooper emphasized the importance of education to the future of African Americans, and was critical of the lack of support they received from the church. An advocate for African-American women, Cooper assisted in organizing the Colored Women’s League and the first Colored Settlement House in Washington, D.C. She wrote and spoke widely on issues of race and gender, and took an active role in national and international organizations founded to advance African Americans.  At the age of fifty-five she adopted the five children of her nephew. In 1925, Cooper became the fourth African-American woman to complete a Ph.D degree, granted from the Sorbonne when she was sixty-five years old. From 1930-1942, Cooper served as president of Frelinghuysen University.

On our Lenten journey — can we seek to be inspired by such strong voices for justice and look to give a voice to those who suffer injustice? Join us each Wednesday during Lent to hear our series of speakers who will give us some ideas on what we might be able to do. This week the Rev Bruce Jackson from the Village of Aspen lake will be with us to discuss Elder care and spirituality — our program begins at 7:30 PM in the Upper Room of the Church hall.

2 thoughts on “Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

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  1. “Something” enters some people and they become larger than life. Another great role model and not just for women. Truly worthy of remembrance.

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