By: CASSONDRA (Cj) MURPHY Spanning the time from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Anna Julia Cooper’s life was defined by her tireless fight for freedom and equality. Cooper was born into slavery in North Carolina in 1858. Although not allowed to pursue educational opportunities until her ninth birthday — two years after … Continue reading #InContext: Anna Julia Cooper
By: EMILY SAUER In early 1957, Martin Luther King Jr. pitched an idea to publish his well-known sermons. Melvin Arnold, head of Harper & Brothers’ Religious Books Department, agreed to publish King’s book and repeatedly begged him for the manuscript for the next several years. But it was not until five years later that King … Continue reading #InContext: Martin Luther King Jr.
By: SARAH CRAMER Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. At a young age, Parks’ parents separated. She and her mother moved in with her mother’s parents, who were former slaves. From a young age, she witnessed her family serve as leading examples and strong advocates for human equality. In one … Continue reading #InContext: Rosa Parks
By: TAKIM WILLIAMS Over the course of her 86-year life, Maya Angelou was an accomplished singer, actor, dancer, poet, playwright, author, historian, and civil rights activist. President Barack Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 in celebration of each area of achievement, yet Angelou herself identified first and foremost as a … Continue reading #InContext: Maya Angelou