As we celebrate Black History Month I’d like to honor a remarkable black woman who joins the Holy Woman Icons with a folk feminist twist that I feature each month. Anna Julia Cooper stands alongside Virginia Woolf , the Shulamite, Mary Daly, Baby Suggs, Pachamama and Gaia, Frida Kahlo, Salome, Guadalupe and Mary, Fatima, Sojourner Truth, Saraswati, Jarena Lee, Isadora Duncan, Miriam, Lilith, Georgia O’Keeffe, Guanyin, Dorothy Day, Sappho, and Jephthah’s daughter.
Cooper was born a slave in Raleigh, NC in 1858. Her mother was a slave and her biological father was her mother’s white master. After living and working as a slave until the age of five, Cooper began her formal education at a school for slaves. She would grow up to become one of the most educated and intellectual black women of her century. In fact, she was the fourth African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in the United States, writing her dissertation on “Attitudes toward Slavery in Revolutionary France.” Continue reading “Painting Anna Julia Cooper by Angela Yarber”