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Timeline 1890-1899

African American History and Women Timeline


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Women and African American History: 1890-1899


• Emma Frances Grayson Merritt (1860-1933) established the first U.S. kindergarten for African American students

The House of Bondage, a collection of slave narratives, published, written by former slave Octavia R. Albert

Clarence and Corinne or God's Way published by the American Baptist Publication, the first Sunday School book written by an African American

• Janie Porter Barrett founded the Locust Street Settlement House in Hampton, Virginia


• newspaper Freedom: a Revolutionary Anarchist-Communist Monthly founded by Lucy Parsons


• Anna Julia Cooper published Voice of the South, writing of the status of African American women

Hallie Brown served as "lady principal" (dean of women), Tuskegee Institute

• President Benjamin Harrison entertained by Sissieretta Jones (singer)

• Frances Ellen Watkins Harper published Iola Leroy: or Shadows Uplifted

• Patent issued for an ironing board invented by Sarah Boone

• (January) Bessie Coleman born (pilot) - or 1893

• (October) Ida B. Wells published Southern Horrors: Lynch Law and in All Its Phases, beginning her public anti-lynching campaign

• (-1894) many African American women's clubs were founded for race and women's progress

  • New York City (Victoria Earle Matthews)
  • Brooklyn (Susan McKinney)
  • Boston (Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin)


• World Columbian Exposition largely excluded African Americans.

  • A few African American women spoke at the fair's Women's Congress on "The Intellectual Progress of Colored Women of the US Since Emancipation": Fannie Barrier Williams spoke on the responsibility of white men for sexual exploitation of African American women. Anna Julia Cooper and Fanny Jackson Coppin also spoke.
  • Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, and Ferdinand Barnett wrote "The Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the Columbian Exposition."

• African Methodist Episcopal Church founded the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society

• publication of The Autobiography of Amanda Berry Smith, AME Evangelist

• Fanny Kemble died (wrote about slavery)

Lucy Stone died (editor, abolitionist, women's rights advocate)

• (April 13) Nella Larson born (writer, nurse)

• (June 5) Mary Ann Shadd Cary died (journalist, teacher, abolitionist, activist)

• (-1903) Hallie Brown served as professor of elocution at Wilberforce University


• Sarah Parker Remond died (anti-slavery lecturer whose British lectures probably helped keep the British from entering the American Civil War on the side of the Confederacy)

• National Association of Colored Women began publishing The Woman's Era

• Gertrude Mossell published The Work of the Afro-American Woman


• National Federation of Afro-American Women founded by about 100 women from ten different states, the first national federation of black women's clubs. Margaret Washington was elected the first president. Founders included Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams

Ida B. Wells published Red Record, a statistical study of lynching

• Frederick Douglass died (abolitionist, women's rights activist, lecturer)


• National Federation of African American Women and the Colored Women's League merged into the National Association of Colored Women, selecting Mary Church Terrell as president

• (March 18) Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson upholds Louisiana law segregating railway cars, invalidating the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and leading to the passage of many more Jim Crow laws

• (July 1) Harriet Beecher Stowe died (writer)

• (July 21) National Association of Colored Women formed; Mary Church Terrell, president


• Harriet Tubman won pension for her Civil War military service

• Victoria Earle Matthews founded the White Rose Mission to provide aid to Southern black women moving to New York City

• Phillis Wheatley Home for Aged Colored Ladies founded by Fannie M. Richards in Detroit -- the first of many named for the poet Phillis Wheatley to provide housing and services for single African American women in large cities

• Charlamae Rollins born (writer, librarian)

A Slave Girl's Story published, autobiography of Kate Drumgold

Marita Bonner born (writer, teacher)


Maggie Lena Walker became head (Right Worthy Grand Secretary) of the Independent Order of St. Luke Society, which she helped transform into an effective philanthropic society in Richmond, Virginia

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