Document Type



Arts and Humanities (CGU)

Publication Date

Fall 2015


African American Studies


This essay examines African American women’s access to higher education in the United States before and after the founding of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) in 1915. The efforts of leading educated African American women to ensure their sisters were provided more educational opportunities will be examined, as well as their roles in the leadership of African American higher education. Utilizing the black feminist theory of intersectionality focusing on race, gender, and class, the emphasis in this essay is on the purposes and the types of secondary and higher education African American women obtained in various parts of the United States. As African American men gained civil rights denied to women, this impacted the men’s and women’s attitudes about African American women’s higher education. Access to formal education increased for African Americans from the late 19th through the 20th century, however, and pronounced gender distinctions emerged and took on social and cultural significance. Thus various civil rights, intellectual, and advancement organizations, which were genderspecific or male-dominated, took positions on the advisability of women’s higher education.

Rights Information

@ 2015 Linda M Perkins

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.