Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Black Heritage Puppet Theatre
Cooper, Anna J (Anna Julia) 1858-1964
Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.)
M Street High School (Washington, D.C.)
Preparatory High School for Colored Youth (Washington, D.C.)
Frelinghuysen University (Washington, D.C.)
Université de Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne
Anacostia Community Museum
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum
1 open reel 1/2 inch video recording
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Title created by ACMA staff based on transcription from physical asset and content of recording.
The collection, Anna J. Cooper: A Voice from the South Audiovisual Records, contains sound and video recordings of exhibit tours, gallery talks, and lectures associated with an exhibition, Anna J. Cooper: A Voice from the South. The exhibition presented the life and times of Washington, D.C. black educator and author Anna Julia Haywood Cooper through historical documents, photographs, memorabilia, and re-creations of her home and classroom settings. It was organized by the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum and held there from February 1981 to September 1982; Louise Daniel Hutchinson served as curator. The exhibition was based on an unpublished manuscript by the late Dr. Leona Gable, Smith College; and titled after Cooper's written work, A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South.
Educator, author, and speaker Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858-1964) was born into slavery and educated at Saint Augustine's Normal School and Collegiate Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina. While teaching at St. Augustine's, she married George A. C. Cooper, who died two years later. After her husband's death, Cooper moved to Washington, D.C., attended Oberlin College, taught at Wilberforce College and M Street High School, and later went on to earn her Ph.D. from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Cooper taught Greek, Latin, geometry, and science; and created a path for African Americans to attend Ivy League schools. Although she taught and served as principal (1902-1906) of the M Street High School (now Dunbar High School) in Washington, D.C., her role and influence extended beyond its boundaries. Cooper was an advocate of human rights who lectured on a broad range of topics that affected blacks and women, including race relations, poverty, and gender inequality; a feminist of her day. She was a contributor to the District of Columbia's Colored Settlement House; served as president of Frelinghuysen University, which offered affordable liberal arts and professional courses for working African Americans; and wrote A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South, the first book-length volume of black feminist analysis in the United States.
A puppet show, organized by the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Black Heritage Puppet Theatre, provides school children with an introduction to the exhibition, Anna J. Cooper: A Voice from the South. The main character in the puppet show is a student who needs to present a report on a black woman who lived in Washington, D.C. and who made an outstanding contribution to the lives of black people. The puppet show highlights Cooper's teaching career; her advocacy for education, black students, and civil rights; and the period of time in which she lived. Music played prior to puppet show, and children in the audience sing a rhyme about Cooper's live after puppet show.
Puppet show. Part of Anna J. Cooper: A Voice from the South Audiovisual Records. Dated 19810415.
Anna J. Cooper Exhibit: Puppet Show, Exhibition Records AV03-029, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
African American women
African American educators
African American women educators
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at ACMarchives@si.edu