NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Architecturally Significant, African American, Civil War Era, Female, Harlem Renaissance Era, Radicals

Anna Julia Cooper
(August 10, 1858 - February 27, 1964)

201 T Street NW, LeDroit Park neighborhood, DC. Marked by an historic plaque.

Cooper is the author of A Voice from the South (1892), a collection of essays widely considered the earliest book of African American feminism. Cooper taught and was principal at M Street High School, and later Freylinghuysen University. When she earned her PhD from the Sorbonne in 1924, she became the fourth African American woman with a doctoral degree. Cooper was in demand as an orator, and some of her most famous speeches were at the World’s Congress of Representative Women (Chicago, 1893), and the Pan-African Congress (London, 1900). She helped organize the Colored Woman’s League of Washington, the Colored Settlement House, and the DC Colored Young Women’s Christian Association.

Among the 12 famous Americans quoted in US passports, Cooper is the only woman. Her quote is:

"The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class - it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity."

She was also honored in 2009 with a commemorative US postage stamp.

Architect: James McGill
Year: Between 1873 and 1877
Of the original 64 houses designed for the LeDroit Park neighborhood by McGill, 50 are still standing, including the Cooper House. The neighborhood was developed as a bucolic suburb, with a range of Victorian house styles, originally for white residents only. It was integrated beginning in 1893.

Humanities Council of Washington, "Wide Enough for Our Ambition: D.C.'s Segregated African American Schools (1807 - 1954)"