Nannie Helen Burroughs is one of the WOCAA – Women of Color and Accomplishment. WOCAA is a book in progress of my paintings and brief bios of Black women in American history. These are women who have accomplished much despite often facing discrimination or challenging backgrounds.
Nannie Helen Burroughs 1879 –1961
Burroughs was a black educator, orator, religious leader, civil rights activist, feminist, and businesswoman in the United States. In 1909, she founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, DC. She fought both for equal rights in races as well as furthered opportunities for women beyond the simple duties of domestic housework. She continued to work there until her death in 1961.
Upon graduating from M Street High School with honors in 1896, Burroughs sought work as a domestic-science teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools, but was unable to find a position. This is what led Burroughs to establish a training school for women and girls.