Nannie Helen Burroughs
A Documentary Portrait of an Early Civil Rights Pioneer, 1900–1959
236 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268105532 | May 2019
eBook | 9780268105563 | May 2019
eBook | 9780268105556 | May 2019
Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879–1961) is just one of the many African American intellectuals whose work has been long excluded from the literary canon. In her time, Burroughs was a celebrated African American (or, in her era, a "race woman") female activist, educator, and intellectual. This book represents a landmark contribution to the African American intellectual historical project by allowing readers to experience Burroughs in her own words. This anthology of her works written between 1900 and 1959 encapsulates Burroughs' work as a theologian, philosopher, activist, educator, intellectual, and evangelist, as well as the myriad of ways that her career resisted definition. Burroughs rubbed elbows with such African American historical icons as W. E. B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, and Mary McLeod Bethune, and these interactions represent much of the existing, easily available literature on Burroughs' life. This book aims to spark a conversation surrounding Burroughs' life and work by making available her own tracts on God, sin, the intersections of church and society, black womanhood, education, and social justice. Moreover, the volume is an important piece of the growing movement toward excavating African American intellectual and philosophical thought and reformulating the literary canon to bring a diverse array of voices to the table.
Nannie Helen Burroughs, born in 1879 in Orange, VA, was an African-American educator and activist. In 1909, she founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, DC. She continued to work there until her death in 1961.
Kelisha B. Graves is an honors and undergraduate research programs advisor and adjunct instructor at Fayetteville State University.
"As Kelisha Graves posits, most of the existing black women's historical, intellectual, and religious scholarship offers limited insight (if any) into the views and ideas of Nannie Helen Burroughs, despite her views and published writings on wide-ranging, important topics from democracy and human rights to gender and social justice. The issues, organizations, and movements in which she was personally involved as an activist and thinker were not only significant during her lifetime: they still have compelling contemporary resonance. This volume offers the first compilation of Burroughs' scattered writings in a single text, ensuring them a more central role in future historical feminist, religious, and social justice narratives." ~Sharon Harley, University of Maryland