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Office of the Provost. Anna Julia Cooper Center Records

Finding Aid & Inventory

The Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University was an interdisciplinary center that allowed for scholarly research, teaching, and engagment with the community and national interests. The Center aims to support and generate research and maintain productive relationships at the intersections of gender, race, and place in order to pursure equitable outcomes and ask critical questions. Materials include news articles, fliers, annotated biographies, and newsletters. There are also a small number of articles related fundraising.

Biographical and Historical Note

Anna Julia Cooper was a prominent African American scholar born in Raleigh, N.C., on August 10, 1858. She attended Oberlin College in 1884 and then earned a masters degree in mathematics in 1887. After graduation, she worked at several educational institutions and from there would move to Washington, D.C., to teach. Later in her career, she would publish several books centered around equal education for women. As she began to gain national traction, she traveled around the nation lecturing on topics such as civil rights, education, womens rights, and the African American community. Cooper earned her doctorate from University of Paris in France. Later in her career, she was president of Frelinghuysen University. Cooper died in Washington, D.C., on February 27, 1964, at the age of 105 years old.

Throughout her life she remained committed in advocacy for the educational rights of African Americans and women. The Anna Julia Cooper center was created in 2012 by professor Melissa Harris-Perry as a part of the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University. The Center served as a curricular hub focused on combining intersectional identities and intellectual collaboration. Then in 2014, the Center was moved to WFU's Reynolda Campus after founder Melissa Harris-Perry came to WFU to teach. The Center received a five-year grant outlining specific goals of continuing Cooper's legacy through transformative scholarship, programming, and policy change.

Due to controversy with WFU, the Center was disaffiliated in 2019. As of 2023, it remains somewhat active through social media and events done by Harris-Perry.


  • Anna Julia Cooper Center. "... Woman's strongest vindication for speaking [is] that the world needs to hear her voice," 2023. Available online at https://ajccenter.com/mission as of 2023.
  • Anna Julia Cooper Center. "About the AJC Center," 2012. Available online at http://cooperproject.org/about as of 2023.

Collection Overview

This collection documents the work of the Anna Julia Cooper Center, including various statements from the Center in response to current events such as policy changes in U.S. government as well as commentary on current events related to social change. Materials in this collection include news articles, fliers, annotated biographies, and newsletters.

Collection Inventory

  • "Affirming our core values: a statement from the Anna Julia Cooper Center..." letter  (2017 January 30) box 1 folder 1
  • Arceneaux, Michael, event email  (2018 October) box 1 folder 2
  • Clayton, Tracy, announcement  (2016) box 1 folder 3
  • Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research announcement  (2015) box 1 folder 4
  • Elle article about women's march  (2017) box 1 folder 5
  • Email newsletters  (2018 August) box 1 folder 6
  • Email newsletters and memorandums  (2016-2018) box 1 folder 7
  • Equity Announcement Summit-- article on White House and Center   (2015) box 1 folder 8
  • Harris-Perry, Melissa, conflict with WFU and Center closing news articles  (2019) box 1 folder 9
  • Harris Perry, Melissa, "20 Amazing Black Women and Girls Share Love Letters to Themselves," Ellearticle  (2018 Feb) box 1 folder 10
  • Information packet regarding Center   (2018) box 1 folder 11
  • Know Her Truths Conference social justice informational packets   (2016) box 1 folder 12
  • Know Her Truths Conference information  (2018 March) box 1 folder 13
  • Reddick, Brianna, "For Black College Students, Balancing Activism and Mental Health Takes Work," The Nation article  (2018 September 18) box 1 folder 14
  • Welfare Reform syllabus annotated bibliography  (2016) box 1 folder 15
  • WFU Freedom Schools fundraiser flier   (2017 May) box 1 folder 16

Summary Information

Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Office of the Provost. Anna Julia Cooper Center Records
2015 November-2019 April
1 document box
0.42  Linear Feet

Administrative Information

Publication Information
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, 2023
Access Restrictions
Collection is open for use. 
Copyright Notice
The nature of the WFU Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of ZSR Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. 
Preferred Citation
Office of the Provost. Anna Julia Cooper Center Records (RG22.13) Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. 

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