Anna Julia Cooper, US scholar and civil rights activist

Anna Julia Cooper, US scholar and civil rights activist

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Caption: Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), US scholar, educator and civil rights activist. Born into slavery as Anna Haywood in North Carolina, she began her education at a school for former slaves. Her academic excellence led to further study at Oberlin College. She worked as a teacher in Washington DC, becoming principal of the school in 1901. She wrote on civil rights and women's rights, pioneering black feminism. In 1914, aged 56, she began doctoral studies at Columbia University, transferring to the Sorbonne in Paris, France, and attaining her doctorate in 1924. She was the fourth black woman in US history to earn a PhD. This photograph is by leading Washington DC portrait photographer Charles Milton Bell (1848-1893). It was taken between February 1901 and December 1903.

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