Articles BNC Forums BNC Newsletter Church Directory News Center Send to a Friend Add to Favorites Site Map
The Pulpit
The Pew
The Academy
The Black Church
BAC Global
A Voice for the African-American Christian Community
spacerShining the Light ON
You are here:

Printer-FriendlyPrinter-Friendly Email ThisEmail This More ArticlesArticles

empty Posted 03-10-02- Shining the Light ON: Celebrating Women
African American Woman
Women of Color You Should Know
by Jacqueline Trussell
Founder and President of

Throughout history, African American women and women of color throughout the Diaspora, have made important contributions to the world and society. There are many "sheroes" that we can recognize but here are a few, some you may know and others you may not.

Jarena Lee
--1783-?--Lee was born in New Jersey. After moving to Philadelphia, she met AME founder, Richard Allen. Lee became a preacher and evangelist and some believe that she was the first woman licensed by the African Methodist Episcopal church.

Florence Spearing Randolph--1866-1951--Randolph  was born in South Carolina. In New Jersey, where she settled after leaving the south, she joined the Monmouth Street African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church. In 1901 she was ordained a deacon.  Randolph pastored many churches within the denomination.

Mary Jane Small--1850-?--Tennessee born, Small  became first ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. She was licensed in 1895 and ordained an elder that same year.

Helena Brown Cobb--1870-1915-- A teacher and educator, Cobb received a bachelor's degree from Atlanta University in Georgia. She married a CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal )Church minister in 1899. In 1908, she established the Helena B. Cobb Industrial Institute for Girls, the only school for women within the CME Church.

Mattie Elizabeth Coleman--1879-1942--Coleman completed her medical training at Meharry Medical College in 1906. She served as President of the Tennessee District Missionary Society of the CME Church and helped form the Women's Missionary Council. Later, she served as dean of women at Lane College.

Nannie Helen Burroughs--1883-1961--Burroughs was born in Orange, Virginia. Burroughs was an accomplished writer and editor and helped form the Women's Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., in 1900. Burroughs served as the organization's corresponding secretary.  She also served as secretary of the Foreign Mission Board of the Convention. In the early 1900s, she established the Women's Industrial Club for Black women, where she taught them basic domestic skills. In 1907, with help from the Convention, Burroughs began plans for establishing a National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls in Washington, DC. In 1909, the school opened with her as President. The school's motto is "We specialize in the wholly impossible." Her quest was to help Christian women develop and achieve practical and professional skills. Burroughs stressed the three "B's": the Bible, the bath and the Broom--clean life, clean body and clean house. Students also were taught Black history.  The school was renamed the Nannie Burroughs School in 1964. 

Lizzie Woods Roberson--1860-1945--Roberson was born in Arkansas. She led efforts to organize the Women's Department of the Church of God In Christ.

Source: Fortress Introduction to Black Church History, by Anne H. Pinn and Anthony B. Pinn

Hallie Quinn Brown
--1849-1949--Brown was born in Pittsburgh but her family moved to Chatham, Ontario, Canada. Brown became an educator and a noted dramatic reader traveling throughout the US and Europe.

Anna Julia Cooper--1858-1964--Cooper was an educator at various educational institutions. In 1892, she published "A Voice From the South," a stirring commentary on race relations in the United States. At the age of 65, she received a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne in Paris. She died at the age of 105 in 1964.

Sadie T.M. Alexander--A Philadelphia lawyer was named by President Truman to the President's Committee on Civil Rights. She served as first national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1919-1923.

Phyllis Wheatley
--1753-1784--African born poet who wrote first Black book of poems, "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral"  in 1773.

Maria W. Stewart--Published, "Productions of Mrs. Maria Stewart," in 1835 and was an outspoken abolitionist.

Frances W. E. Harper, 1825-1911: Poet published her first book of poems in 1854 while in her teens.

Mary Elizabeth Mahoney--First African American graduate nurse in the US entered New England Hospital for Women and Children in 1878.

Emma Reynolds-- Denied admission to nursing schools in Chicago, she was the impetus for the establishment of Provident Hospital by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, 1893.

Madame C. J. Walker
--1869-1919--Walker became millionaire business woman selling cosmetics and helped develop the straightening comb in 1905.

Alice Coachman--First African American woman to win a gold medal in the summer Olympics, 1948 for the sport of high jump.

Althea Gibson--First African American woman tennis player to compete at Wimbledon in 1950.

Mae C. Jemison, MD--First African American woman astronaut.

Printer-FriendlyPrinter-Friendly Email ThisEmail This More ArticlesArticles

 Previous Page Previous Page
 Articles Home Articles Home



 Bible Search:




Top of Page