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"To Struggle and Battle and Overcome: The Educational Thought of Nannie Helen Burroughs, 1865-1961


Few twentieth century African American educators were as influential in their lifetime and as neglected by scholars in our day as Nannie Helen Burroughs. The founder of the National Training School for Women and Girls, she was admired by African American leaders ranging from Mary Church Terrell, Anna Julia Cooper, Carter G. Woodson, Ella Baker and Martin Luther King, Jr. Relying on Burroughs’ papers and other archival sources, this dissertation examines Burroughs’ educational thought and its relationship to her leadership of the Women’s Convention of the National Baptist Church, the International Council of Women of the Darker Races, the National Association of Wage Earners and other Black organizations. This dissertation argues that Burroughs both drew on the main currents of African American thought and developed a unique synthesis of practical education, prophetic Christian Pan Africanism and woman-centered leadership.

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