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Epigraphs: Chpt 3, The Vote Women’s Fierce Fight

This statement by Anna Julia Cooper is the epigraph for Chapter 3 Gain Momentum: 1878-1900: “We take our stand on the solidarity of humanity.”

Anna Julia Cooper, who earned a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne, was a member of the first Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, established by college women at Howard University, Washington, D.C., in 1908. Throughout her long life—she lived to be 105—Anna Julia Cooper made many contributions as a teacher, sociologist, speaker, an

d author. Her first book A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South published in 1892 is considered one of the first expressions of black feminism. I wrote about Anna Julia Cooper in The Vote: Women’s Fierce Fight and the activism of black women who “steadfastly fought for the right to vote. Black women from Rhode Island to Louisiana to North Dakota organized local suffrage clubs across the country . . . .Other black women organized and spoke out on the national level . . . The preeminent educator, writer, and orator Anna Julia Cooper, who had been born the daughter of a slave and her white master, declared at the World’s Congress of Representative Women in 1893: ‘We take our stand on the solidarity of humanity.’”

I was delighted when I discovered a quote by Cooper printed in my American passport (the only woman quoted along with seven men and several documents): “The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a part or a class—it the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.”


The top image is the 44 cent United States Black Heritage postage stamp honoring Anna Julia Cooper that was issued in 2009.The bottom image is a historic marker located in LeDroit Park, Washington, D.C.: the Anna Julia Hayward Cooper Residence Marker, with a picture of her on her porch. (photo by Devry Jones).

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