The role of African-American Women in the Education of African-Americans, 1880-1920: Four Women in Perspective
Brenda Annetta Brown
Robert L. Harris, Jr.
Thesis DT 3.5 1986 B8765
viii, 153 leaves; 19 cm.
Oftentimes we tend to associate the early approaches to African- American education with men such as Booker T. Washington, thereby obscuring the roles played by African- American women. The contributions to African- American education by Black women educators such as Fanny Jackson Coppin and Anna Julia Cooper are not only extensive, but are as important as those made by Black men. In the same vein, founders of Black educational institutions like Lucy Craft Laney and Charlotte Hawkins Brown have also played a significant role in African- American education. Each in her own way has added to the educational advancement of African- Americans by providing new insight and approaches to teaching African- American Youths.
To understand the role of Black women in the education of African- Americans from 1880 to 1920, we must recognize that Black women were not passive victims of a racist society but struggled to make a worthwhile and lasting contribution to Black education. This study seeks to put into perspective the educational activities of Fanny Jackson Coppin, Anna Julia Cooper, Lucy Craft Laney, and Charlotte Hawkins Brown while at the same time providing a basis for understanding the overall role of African American women in Black education.
Three basic methods were used to carry out the research for this study. The first method was through the use of secondary sources such as books, dissertations, articles, and journals through library research. Second, I consulted primary sources such as autobiographies and special collection manuscripts. Finally, I attended and gained insight from numerous conferences pertaining to African- American history in general and Black women's history in particular. One such conference was held in March 1985 at the Bethune Museum Archive in Washington, D.C. entitled "Black Women: Documenting our Legacy." I have this synthesized information from a variety of sources into an assessment of African- American women, who made outstanding contributions to Black education during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.