My experience researching Anna Julia Cooper
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My experience researching Anna Julia Cooper
Being a student, one went through many articles, courses and books. As a student I always found myself thirsty for knowledge. Especially I wanted to explore life great people who by contributing their efforts have changed the shape of the present world. Undoubtedly, those who are being reported in history as great personalities have done something extraordinary. I have always found myself desperate whenever our class has been assigned a task by the professors. During my academic years, I have searched and worked upon many personalities. After searching about different personalities and digging their life, I used to have a different opinion about them. Recently I did research on Anna Julia Cooper. While reading about her life, I went through a series of emotions.
It was a mesmerizing experience to read about someone who belonged to the most oppressed ethnic group but appreciated because of her passion what others cannot even think of. My experience researching Anna Julia Cooper was wonderful. While searching about her life, I came to realized that she stood strong against the odds. She was Black American, born to be a slave mother. After searching about her struggle, life, achievements and hardships that she faced, I came to know why she is the inspiration for millions of Africans.
One of the most appreciable things after searching her for me was that she was the most prominent feminist of her time. When I came to know that Anna was the first African America who earned a PhD in history, it was one of the most inspiring and cherishing experience for me to study about a personality who proves herself without taking into consideration the odd ones. She was a multi-tasker who not only performed a various role in her real-life but also helped her contemporaries to excel. Taking a look at her life I experienced the objectives mentioned in the leadership theories (Great Man Theory, Trait Theory etc.) was correct in her case. According to me, it was, when one’s story inspires you to achieve something good in your life.
Veritably, after researching about Anna Julia, I would say that I have become one of her admirers. She played a vital role in history i.e. social activist, motivational speaker, educator, author, and scholar, feminist and most importantly Black Liberation activist. I admire her courage and spirit for raising her voice against the Black oppression. I always admire her for her passion as triumphed against all the odds and challenges. She did not let any racial and gender restriction come in-between her and her dreams. Studying about her life, struggle and achievements, I came to know that she was a brave lady who despite belonging from the most subjugated class showed her willingness to turn her dreams into reality. I was most amazed to know that Anna’s experiences with sexism and racism were most likely the impetus that added fuel to the fire. She was the most prominent woman of her time who openly challenged the patriarchal society. Her courage and bravery are one of the most appreciative attributes of her personality.
It was a marvelous experience to know that Anna was popular not only because of her active participation in the social works but at the same time; her intelligence was another reason for her sky-reaching popularity. She was the only woman of her time, who manifested her superior intellect as well as her persuasive oratory abilities as an educator. After reading about her, I came to know that her intellectual superiority to others earned her the title of a great Mathematics, Latin and Greek teacher at St. Augustine’s Normal and Collegiate Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina. I truly admire Anna for her intellect as it was because of her intellectual power that she became the fourth Black African woman who earned a PhD degree in any field.
There are various reasons why I admire her. She was the real iconic activist and the feminist. She was an exceptional writer. She is remembered for being the first who pioneered the crusade for the upliftment of Africa-American women. She was best known for adopting the feminists’ ways, for pulling the Black American woman out of slavery. She was a smart lady who used her intellect and fearlessness in the right direction and forced African American women to jump out of all the restrictions. She was a smart woman who used her writings for inculcating a sense of independence in African American women. Researching about Anna Julia I went through a number of problems. Undoubtedly, doing research is never an easy task. Research needs one’s time and attention on the specific topic. It is difficult to gather relevant information.
I faced multiple difficulties searching for information on Anna Julia. First, it was difficult for me to choose a topic or the personality on which I was supported to conduct research. Next, it was tough for me to make a proper plan of how I am going to gather and organize the information. Initially, when I started gathering information, a major issue that I faced was selecting authentic information with credible sources. For well-searched research on Anna Julia Cooper, I read numbers of articles and visited various websites. Another issue that I faced was that it was tough for me to pick only the required and suitable data about Anna Julia. It won’t be wrong to say that compiling of the information was also tiring part of the research but my passion and unfailing efforts enabled me to complete the search.
Anna Julia was very popular for numbers of reason but one of the most appealing facts why she was immensely popular among the Africans and women was her courageous nature. She raised her voice against all the violence that women were facing during that time. Throughout her life, she wrote about the oppression and the injustice that women faced in this world, she particular wrote about the African American women who were treated inhumanly. Anna is being credited for raising the voice against sexual violence. She claimed the protection of the Black American women and blamed the legal system for offering little protection. She was the very first African woman who accused the legal system of American of the stereotypes about Black American women. Her feministic point and thinking was reflected through a number of the work that supported the African American women of that time. Though there are numbers of the essays of Anna which were centered on the feministic theme, “Womanhood: a vital element in the regeneration and progress of race” was a most distinguished one.
In “Womanhood: a vital element in the regeneration and progress of race” she is pointing towards the two figures that are responsible for shaping and defining the role of woman in society according to her. it is the Church and the feudal system that creates the idea of an ideal woman. In this essay, she is pointing towards the discrimination in all the religion. She is emphasizing on the idea that for the success of a society or the country, women play an important role. In this essay, she has mentioned that idea and the position of woman in this world that has been given in different religion. She has even claimed in the essay that it is not the chivalry but the Gospel in the Holy Bible that gives the idea of better status that should be given to the women. Anna Julia has compared honour of both times (at present and given in the old times). According to this essay, women were treated with more respect and love in past. Church has been declared as the main institute that could help in getting the honour, care, affection and love that they deserve. The church must appeal to treat women with sympathy. Another important thing that has been highlighted in this essay is that for bringing a positive change, everyone has to show some interest.
After the study, Anna's this essay; I came to realized that she was the believer of the idea that women participation is important for putting the society on the right track. She has spotted a light on the need that elevation of African American women should be focused not within the African American community but at the national level. Three main concepts could be analyzed on which Cooper based her search. These three concepts are emerging barbaric with Christianity, feudal system and regeneration of the Black women.
Exploring this essay was one of the most memorable parts of the search as, during that phase, I got a chance to know about Anna Julia's personality. Anna torched a light on the primitive ways of how women were treated. Since the beginning woman was viewed as inferior. She has talked about various religions and how they are looking at the woman. Another exciting thing that I experienced while searching about Anna was that she was more interested in empowering the women through her writings. One the strongest and heartbreaking reality that was exposed by Anna was that westerns ideas about the African American women were the death of the spiritual, physical and mental death.
As a whole, I could conclude that Anna Julia Cooper wanted African Americans women to infiltrate their conditions and position in western society; she wanted the African American women to be one of the principal members by instilling the Catholic teachings. She encouraged African American women to come out from their houses and prove their worth. In this essay, I found that she wanted Africa women to recognize their identity by playing a constructive role in making society a better place to live.
Taking into account the research that I did on Anna Julia Cooper, I would say that it was a gracious experience that enriched me with the knowledge that I was totally unaware of. Research on Anna Julia provides me with the opportunity to look into her life, struggle, efforts and achievement etc. While carrying out the research on Anna Cooper, I faced a number of issue regarding different events of life and other perceptions. One of the major complications was the negative and narrowed perception regarding its works and the approach towards work and life. I observed that there is still a great number of misconceptions in terms of her works and the perception she wanted to convey to the world. I found that there was lack of authenticity in the information that was conveyed about her because she spoke for something that was not openly addressed such as the right of women so it was highly criticized by the White people and patriarchal believers. Moreover, there were some personal blogs and sources of information that conveyed a piece of self-directed and self-produced information so it was hard for me to analyze the correct source.
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