Nannie Helen Burroughs

Nannie Helen Burroughs, (May 2, 1878 – May 20, 1961) was an African-American educator, orator, religious leader, civil rights activist, feminist and businesswoman in the United States.[1] She gained national recognition for her 1900 speech “How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping,” at the National Baptist Convention.

In 1907, she received an honorary M.A. from Eckstein Norton University, a historically black college in Cane Spring, Bullitt County, Kentucky. (It merged with Simpson University in 1912.)[8]

On October 19, 1909, she founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C., which uniquely provided academic, religious and vocational classes for black girls and young women at a time when education was segregated in the South; she operated it until her death. It has since been renamed the Nannie Helen Burroughs School in her honor and continues to provide coeducational classes for the elementary grades. Its Trades Hall, built in 1927-28, has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. In 1976, this school was renamed the Nannie Helen Burroughs School in her honor. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Burroughs died in Washington, D.C., on May 20, 1961, of natural causes. The funeral was held at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church where she was a member.

Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE, a street in the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, DC, is named for her.

The Burroughs Collection of papers is held by the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. It consists of 110,000 items (1900–1963); bulk (1928–60), which contain material concerning her activities with the National Baptist Convention, National League of Republican Colored Women, and National Association of Wage Earners.[3]

In 1997 Burroughs was designated a Women’s History Month Honoree by the National Women’s History Project.[9]

Nannie Helen Burroughs