Nannie Helen Burroughs Project

Lost to History and the Black Church: One African American Woman's Views on How to Make Our Country a Better Place.

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Project Goal: To Answer the Question:
So, What do We do Now?


This Documents Page is comprised of articles about Burroughs, her writings, and excerpts of her speeches. It is designed to complement and expand your knowledge and understanding of her. Everything included in this website is the result of the exhaustive work of many, many professional women.  I have the highest regard and respect for them and  again express my sincere appreciation for their efforts. I make reference to a few only because they were the primary sources for my work. First, I started in the Library of Congress, where Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham was the primary source in organizing the 110, 000 pieces of information.  My first reading of an extensive work about Burroughs was the 2008 Doctoral Dissertation by Dr. Ann Michele Mason of the University of Maryland, Nannie H. Burroughs Rhetorical Leadership During the Inter-war Period.  Most impotantly, Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas autographed my copy of her 2010 book, Jesus. Jobs and Justice.  The essence of my work about Burroughs is best reflected in this comprehensive study of the roles played by Black church women in our society. Finally, the Women's Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention highlighted in a signifcance way the cooperation between Burroughs and her White sisters in fighting racism by sponsoring Dr. Sondra Washington in her writing the 2006 book, The Story of  Nannie Helen Burroughs.  I encourage you to google the life of Nannie Helen Burroughs and find the many writings about this remarkable woman who has simply been lost to history.  I have tried my best to do justice to the work of our professionals. I seek their forgiveness, if I fell short.

Reading Materials 

  • Nannie Helen Burroughs Day 2015 Program Video at the MLK Library in Washington, DC.
  • The most recent NHB activity was at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, DC on September 16, 2012, a play about two great women of the church, Etta Booker and Nannie Helen Burroughs.  They were portrayed as special guests at a Sunday School setting, talking to the children about their lives and service. By all accounts, it was a tremendous success, being both entertaining and informative. This event represented an important step in bringing the remarkable woman's views back into our lives. I applaud the 19th Street Baptist Church for what appears to the beginning of their recognizing the contributions of Burroughs to the church, our race and country in the interest of the future of our children.
  • The project has been funded since 2010 with my personal resources. I have established a nonprofit and plan to seek grants to support the effort. While the website will remain the primary information source, I must employ help to more actively engage in the my social media environment. More importantly, there has to an opportunity out there for which grants can be sought to more effectively bring her to the forefront and establish her legacy. I seek your help in this regard. 

Closing Statement: I believe Nannie Helen Burroughs' crusade to improve American life on all fronts sent a message and provided guidance as to how we might at least consider dealing with our problems today.  She acknowledged that changes in race relations were incremental and temporary, always recognizing that there were remaining structural racial issues to be addressed. I think we need to use Burroughs' views and vision today as the basis for a discussion across our country. However, a discussion first among ourselves in the Black community might be productive. Remember, Burroughs fought the structural racial problems in our country while seeking cooperation wherever she could find it.  She also acknowledged that we had differences within our race that required equal attention. The bottom line is Nannie Helen Burroughs fought for progress and justice on all fronts. Let's use the knowledge she left us to fight our battles of today, wherever  they may be.  We can accomplish this by openly and respectfully sharing our different views about the way forward.

Colonel (US Army, Retired) James E. Wyatt

"I Have Fought A Good Fight; I Have Finished My Course"

White Woman's Final Tribute, 1964:  Nannie Helen Burroughs influence over her people can hardly ne estimated.  She had dynamic power. Measured not as a woman, she had extraordinary ability and her living faith in God and in her children, of whatever race, her spirit of services and sacrifice energized her gifts as only faith and love can do."

God grant that she will not have lived and toiled in vain.

Nannie Helen Burroughs transitioned on May 20, 1961 at the age of eighty-two.  Her Home Going Service was held on May 25, 1961 at her church, the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, now on sixteenth Street in Washington, DC.  

Contact us today in Annapolis, Maryland, for details about this icon of African American history.