Anna Julia Cooper
Name: Anna Julia Cooper
Real Name: Anna J. Cooper
Occupation: Writer
Gender: Female
Birth Day: August 10, 1858
Death Date: February 27, 1964 (age 105)
Washington, D.C.
Age: Aged 105
Birth Place: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A., United States
Zodiac Sign: Virgo

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Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper was born on August 10, 1858 in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A., United States (105 years old). Anna Julia Cooper is a Writer, zodiac sign: Virgo. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.

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# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 AC Cooper Spouse N/A N/A N/A

Does Anna Julia Cooper Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Anna Julia Cooper died on February 27, 1964 (age 105)
Washington, D.C..


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Biography Timeline


Anna "Annie" Julia Cooper (née Haywood) was born enslaved in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1858. She and her mother, Hannah Stanley Haywood, were held in bondage by George Washington Haywood (1802–1890), one of the sons of North Carolina's longest serving state treasurer John Haywood, who helped found the University of North Carolina, but whose estate later was forced to repay missing funds. Either George, in whose household her mother worked in bondage, or his brother, Dr. Fabius Haywood, in whose household her older brother Andrew was enslaved, were probably Anna's father; Anna's mother refused to clarify paternity. George became state attorney for Wake County, North Carolina and with a brother owned a plantation in Greene County, Alabama.


In 1868, when Cooper was nine years old, she received a scholarship and began her education at the newly opened Saint Augustine's Normal School and Collegiate Institute in Raleigh, founded by the local Episcopal diocese for the purpose of training teachers to educate the formerly enslaved and their families. The Reverend J. Brinton offered Cooper a scholarship to help pay for her expenses. According to Mark S. Giles, a Cooper biographer, "the educational levels offered at St. Augustine ranged from primary to high school, including trade-skill training." During her 14 years at St. Augustine's, she distinguished herself as a bright and ambitious student who showed equal promise in both liberal arts and analytical disciplines such as mathematics and science; her subjects included languages (Latin, French, Greek), English literature, math, and science. Although the school had a special track reserved for women – dubbed the "Ladies' Course" – and the administration actively discouraged women from pursuing higher-level courses, Cooper fought for her right to take a course reserved for men, by demonstrating her scholastic ability. During this period, St. Augustine's pedagogical emphasis was on training young men for the ministry and preparing them for additional training at four-year universities. One of these men, George A.C. Cooper, would later become her husband. He died after only two years of marriage.


After her husband's death, Cooper entered Oberlin College in Ohio, where she continued to follow the course of study designated for men, graduating in 1884. Given her academic qualifications, she was admitted as a sophomore. She often attempted to take four classes, rather than three as was prescribed by the College; she also was attracted to Oberlin by its reputation for music, but was unable to take as many classes in piano as she would have wished. Among her classmates were fellow black women Ida Gibbs (later Hunt) and Mary Church Terrell. At Oberlin, she was part of the "LLS", "one of the two literary societies for women, whose regular programs featured lectures by distinguished speakers as well as singers and orchestras". After teaching briefly at Wilberforce College, Cooper returned to St. Augustine's in 1885. She then went back to Oberlin and earned an M.A. in Mathematics in 1888, making her one of the first two Black women - along with Mary Church Terrell, who received her M.A. in the same year - to earn a Master's degree.


She later moved to Washington, DC. In 1892, Anna Cooper, Helen Appo Cook, Ida B. Bailey, Charlotte Forten Grimké, Mary Jane Peterson, Mary Church Terrell, and Evelyn Shaw formed the Colored Women's League in Washington, D.C. The goals of the service-oriented club were to promote unity, social progress and the best interests of the African-American community. Helen Cook was elected president.

During her years as a teacher and principal at M Street High School, Cooper also completed her first book, titled A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South, published in 1892, and delivered many speeches calling for civil rights and women's rights. Perhaps her most well-known volume of writing, A Voice from the South, is widely viewed as one of the first articulations of Black feminism. The book advanced a vision of self-determination through education and social uplift for African-American women. Its central thesis was that the educational, moral, and spiritual progress of Black women would improve the general standing of the entire African-American community. She says that the violent natures of men often run counter to the goals of higher education, so it is important to foster more female intellectuals because they will bring more elegance to education. This view was criticized by some as submissive to the 19th-century cult of true womanhood, but others label it as one of the most important arguments for Black feminism in the 19th century. Cooper advanced the view that it was the duty of educated and successful Black women to support their underprivileged peers in achieving their goals. The essays in A Voice from the South also touched on a variety of topics, such as race and racism, gender, the socioeconomic realities of Black families, and the administration of the Episcopal Church.


Cooper was an author, educator, and public speaker. In 1893, she delivered a paper titled "The Intellectual Progress of the Colored Women of the United States since the Emancipation Proclamation" at the World's Congress of Representative Women in Chicago. She was one of five African-American women invited to speak at this event, along with: Fannie Barrier Williams, Sarah Jane Woodson Early, Hallie Quinn Brown, and Fanny Jackson Coppin.


In 1900 she made her first trip to Europe, to participate in the First Pan-African Conference in London. After visiting the cathedral towns of Scotland and England, she went to Paris for the World Exposition. "After a week at the Exposition she went to Oberammergau to see the Passion Play, thence to Munich and other German towns, and then to Italy through Rome, Naples, Venice, Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius, and Florence."

Cooper was also present at the first Pan-African Conference in London, England, in 1900 and delivered a paper titled "The Negro Problem in America."


Cooper would develop a close friendship with Charlotte Forten Grimké – Cooper began teaching Latin at M Street High School, becoming principal in 1901. She later became entangled in a controversy involving the differing attitudes about black education, as she advocated for a model of classical education espoused by W.E.B. Du Bois, "designed to prepare eligible students for higher education and leadership", rather than the vocational program that was promoted by Booker T. Washington. As a result of this, she left the school. Later, she was recalled to M Street, and she fit her work on her doctoral thesis into "nooks and crannies of free time".


In 1914, at the age of 56, Cooper began courses for her doctoral degree at Columbia University, but was forced to interrupt her studies in 1915 when she adopted her late half-brother's five children upon their mother's death. Later on she transferred her credits to the University of Paris-Sorbonne, which did not accept her Columbia thesis, an edition of Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne. Over a decade she researched and composed her dissertation, completing her coursework in 1924. Cooper defended her thesis "The Attitude of France on the Question of Slavery Between 1789 and 1848" in 1925. Cooper’s retirement from Washington Colored High School in 1930 was by no means the end of her political activism. The same year she retired, she accepted the position of president at Frelinghuysen University, a school founded to provide classes for DC residents lacking access to higher education. Cooper worked for Frelinghuysen for twenty years, first as president and then as registrar, and left the school only a decade before she passed away in 1964 at the age of 105. At the age of 65, she became the fourth Black woman in American history to earn a Doctorate of Philosophy degree. Her work was eventually published in an anthology of medieval French literature, and was requested for classes and the bookstore at Harvard.


Although the alumni magazine of Cooper's undergraduate alma mater, Oberlin College, praised her in 1924, stating "The class of '84 is honored in the achievement of this scholarly and colored alumna," yet when she tried to present her edition of Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne to the college the next year, it was rejected.


On February 27, 1964, Cooper died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 105. Her memorial was held in a chapel on the campus of Saint Augustine's College, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where her academic career began. She was buried alongside her husband at the City Cemetery in Raleigh.


In 2009, the United States Postal Service released a commemorative stamp in Cooper's honor.

Also in 2009, a tuition-free private middle school was opened and named in her honor, the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School on historic Church Hill in Richmond, Virginia.

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Currently, Anna Julia Cooper is 164 years, 1 months and 26 days old. Anna Julia Cooper will celebrate 165th birthday on a Thursday 10th of August 2023.

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