"The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class, —it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity.”
- Anna Julia Cooper, quote can be found on pages 26 and 27 of the new United States passport
Anna Julia Cooper born today in 1858 (d.1964) was an author, educator, and one of the most prominent African American scholars in United States history. Cooper earned her B.A. and M.A. from Oberlin College, and at 65 years of age, she became the fourth black woman in American history to earn a Ph.D. degree.
Cooper’s first book, A Voice from the South: By A Woman from the South, published in 1892 is considered as one of the first articulations of Black feminism. In her book Anna discusses self-determination through education and social uplift for African American women. She believed that their educational, moral, and spiritual progress would improve the general standing of the entire African American community. She saw it to be the duty of educated and successful black women to encourage and support their underprivileged peers in achieving their goals.