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She was an American author, educator, sociologist, speaker, Black Liberation activist, and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in United States history. Born into slavery in 1858, Cooper triumphed against the odds of gender and race to receive a world-class education and claim power and prestige in academic and social circles.


Anna Julia Haywood
August 10, 1858
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Died February 27, 1964 (age 105)
Washington, D.C.
Education A. B., Oberlin College, 1884
M.A., Oberlin College, 1887
PhD, University of Paris, 1924
Known for 4th black woman, and 1st woman from the District of Columbia, to receive Ph.D.
Spouse(s) George A. C. Cooper M.D (1877–1879)
Children Lula Love Lawson (foster daughter)
Parent(s) Hannah Stanley Haywood
Either George W. or Fabius Haywood
Relatives Andrew J. Haywood (brother)
Rufus Haywood (brother)
John Haywood (grandfather)
Edmund Burke Haywood (uncle)
Fabius J. Haywood (father or uncle)
George Washington Haywood (father or uncle)
pdfAnna J Cooper


Upon receiving her PhD in history from the Sorbonne in 1924, Cooper became the fourth African American woman to earn a doctoral degree. She was also a prominent member of Washington, D.C.'s African-American community and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Cooper made contributions to social science fields, particularly in sociology. She is sometimes called "the mother of Black Feminism."