Anna Julia Cooper Commemorative Stamp Released

September 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm 2 comments

By Carrie Stetler

Anna Julia Cooper Black Heritage StampA woman whose contributions to racial justice in America incredibly spanned from the Civil War Era to the Civil Rights Era is the latest to be honored in the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage series.

Anna Julia Cooper, who was born just before the start of the Civil War and lived more than 100 years, long enough to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, was a voice for African Americans that spanned the 19th and 20th centuries.

An educator, scholar, activist and feminist, Cooper was perhaps best known for her collection of essays and speeches, “A Voice from the South by a Woman of the South,” published in 1892. Her writings flew in the face of the racist belief that blacks were intellectually inferior. She emphasized that the quest for equality and justice did not belong to a particular group but was part of the human spirit.

The 44-cent commemorative shows a portrait of Cooper painted by Kadir Nelson of San Diego based on an undated photograph. The art director was Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Md. The first-day ceremony was held at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., whose forerunners were M Street High School and the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth, where Cooper taught and was principal.

Cooper was born a slave in Raleigh, N.C., about 1858. She developed a love of learning as a child and earned a scholarship at the age of 9 to attend a school for African Americans founded by the Episcopal Church and the Freedmen’s Bureau, a government agency that assisted freed slaves. She earned a degree in mathematics from Oberlin College in Ohio, scorning the women’s course of study.  Upon receiving her Ph.D in history from the University of ParisSorbonne in 1924, Cooper became the fourth African American woman to earn a doctorate degree.

Realizing her ambition to become a teacher, she described her vocation as “the education of neglected people” and saw education as the road to liberation. In her writings, she urged individuals to rise up against both racism and sexism to claim their rightful place in the world.

The stamp, which is being issued in self-adhesive sheets of 20, is the 32nd in the Black Heritage series.


Entry filed under: Historical Figures, News. Tags: , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1.  |  December 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I have heard about Anna Julia Cooper. She had a versatile character and she is one of my idols. I adore her because of her attitude, a real undaunted attitude she had. Thanks a lot for your kind information. We need to reminiscences these types of revolutionists’ generations after generations.

  • 2. hostgator coupon codes  |  March 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Thanks for this post. You Rock! I’ll be back.


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