Similarly to Meghan I found Anna Julia Cooper’s life more interesting than her theories. One of her ideas that really bothered me was when she explains that women (including both white and colored women) are responsible for the moral upbringing of society through education. I think it is crucial to educate society but the fact that it is the women’s responsibility is sexist not only to women but men as well. This idea puts all of the responsibility solely on women instead of broadening it to men. One can read it and think she is saying that men are incapable of providing a moral upbringing to children in society or one can read it and think she means that women’s place is solely in the home where her job is to teach children the “moral ways” of society. Either way one reads it she comes off sexist and hypocritical seeing that she was caught in a scandal where her morality was questioned. Although I do not like her feminist theory, I did like her article “Women vs. The Indian” where she starts off with a story about a black woman who is not accepted to take a type writing class because of the color of her skin. She starts off this article with a sarcastic tone, which really drew me in and made me want to read more. Overall I think that her writing style is much better than her ideas.
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Anna Julia Cooper was spoken of highly in the introduction of her book. The author thinks she should be studied more and seems to be perplexed that she is not grouped with W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. Anna Julia Cooper was a black feminist and she makes some valid points but her arguments are not as forward thinking and progressive as one might assume or hope for. In class as we discussed her work, most did not agree with what she was saying or saw her as behind in her thinking. She was racist against Muslims and it seemed as though she thought a woman’s place was in the home and taking care of the family. However she did put an emphasis on education and for a majority of her life worked in schools and for the improvement of education. She took in seven children throughout her life. Scandal surrounded part of her life when she was forced into exile in the Midwest for five years after she was fired from her administrative position at the M Street School. She worked as a teacher, principal and had various school administration positions. She wrote throughout her long life and did travel some and speak. Cooper lived in Washington D.C. most of her life and she worked in various schools, she focused on providing education, at one point leading a school that met in her house. I am on the fence about her, some of her ideas are vague and others are discriminating. I found her life more interesting than what she wrote about.