Friday, October 8, 2010

In History: Nannie Burroughs

This is the 46th post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

Nannie Helen Burroughs holding a Woman's National Baptist Convention banner.
Nannie Helen Burroughs lived from May 2, 1879, to May 20, 1961. She was an educator, orator, religious leader, and businesswoman. She's probably most well known for her 1900 speech "How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping," which she gave at the National Baptist Convention. (I wish I could find a transcript of the speech, but the internet doesn't seem to have one.) Burroughs' speech laid the groundwork for the formation of the largest black women’s organization in the United States, the Woman’s Convention. Membership of the WC reached 1 million members in 1903 and 1.5 million members in 1907. She was involved in the WC until her death.

Another legacy Burroughs left behind is the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C., which she founded in 1909. The school was renamed in her honor -- the Nannie Helen Burroughs School -- after her death, and is now a National Historic Landmark. She was involved in the school until she died. In addition, Burroughs helped establish the National Association of Colored Women in 1896, which is still active today.

You can read more about Burroughs here, here and here, and you can find a register of Burroughs' papers at the Library of Congress' website (PDF).

Photo source one, two.

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