Because the Black woman is the moral center of the family or community she lives in, the pressure to uplift the race rested squarely on their shoulders. “Education persisted as a symbol of freedom and advancement for many Black people” (Thomas & Jackson, 2007, p. 359).
Although the Black woman was the morale compass in the home and in her community, “In the dominant society black women were not seen as moral beings; black women’s character was everywhere impugned” (Evans, 2007, p. 35). Unresolved feelings about the Black woman’s sexual role during the slavery period haunted both black men and white women. As a result the Black woman had to and in some instances, still must carry this albatross of shame that affects every facet of their lives.
The Institutions That Paved the Way to Educational Access
There were a handful of institutions that granted access to the African American female durin...
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...olored School (renamed the M Street School and is now Paul Dunbar High School) in Washington, D.C. She was later dismissed as principal because of her insistance of academic excellence from the African American students at the school and her refusal to make changes to the academic curriculum in support of industrial education (Thomas & Jackson, 2007, p.362). An accomplished educator and scholar, Cooper’s most well-known work, “ A voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South lead her to be named, one of the founders of Black feminist thought. In this work she argued that the educational, moral and spiritual progress of Black women would improve the general standing of the entire African American community. Cooper earned the distinction of being the fourth African American women to earn a doctoral degree in history in 1925 at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.
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