Anna Julia Cooper, Ph.D., and the Inequality of Economic Industry
Lois McFadyen Christensen
University Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Anna Julia Cooper was an early, radical educational pioneer who asked why African Americans were perceived as problematic to society and subjected to economic biases (Berry, 2006; May, 2007) Her life spanned the period of the Civil War to the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. Reflecting on the Dred Scott decision of 1850 further solidified Cooper’s mindset about dominant, powerful Caucasian men. Cooper’s economic views are examined through legislation continuously tolerating African Americans as economic property for profit, the underemployment of African-American women, women as economically oppressed, and the institutionalization of racism in churches and education which contributed to the success of industry.