New Paperback Release: “Nannie Helen Burroughs” by Nannie Helen Burroughs and edited by Kelisha B. Graves

Nannie Helen Burroughs brings together the writings of Nannie Helen Burroughs, an educator, civil rights activist, and leading voice in the African American community during the first half of the twentieth century.

Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879–1961) is just one of the many African American intellectuals whose work has long been 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, allowing readers to experience Burroughs in her own words.

“Graves suggests that Burroughs has earned a place alongside some of the great thought leaders on Civil Rights. Her wide circle of acquaintances included everyone from famous educator Mary McLeod Bethune to Martin Luther King Jr., whose parents she knew well from her extensive work with the National Baptist Convention.”

The Fayetteville Observer

“In a public career that spanned six decades, the educator and civil rights activist Nannie Helen Burroughs was a leading voice in the African American community. . . . In this collection of documents, the historian Kelisha B. Graves focuses on Burroughs’s published writings on race and racism, women’s rights, and social justice. . . . Graves has raised interesting questions about ambiguities in the black protest movement in the first half of the twentieth century.”

The Journal of American History

Nannie Helen Burroughs, born in 1879 in Orange, Virginia, 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 the chief research, education, and programs officer at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and a higher education educator. Her research focuses on the global Africana experience with specific interest in education, intellectual history, and philosophy.

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Nannie Helen Burroughs is part of the African American Intellectual Heritage series, edited by Paul Spickard and Patrick B. Miller.

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