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.

Find and Follow Nannie Helen Burroughs Project on Facebook


Share

Project Goal: To encourage our black and white leaders (educational, religious, political, high-profile, etc.) to come together, listen to each other and use her standards as a basis to seek common ground and cooperation in guiding the masses.

Documents

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 a major 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 importantly, 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 significant 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

Project Activity 

  • Click here to listen to the radio interview about Nannie Helen Burroughs
  • On March 20, 2019, the American Baptist College (ABC) in Nashville, Tennessee sponsored a Nannie Helen Burroughs Luncheon. This event represented an understanding and appreciation of the contributions and importance of Nannie Helen Burroughs far beyond my expectations. First the first time in my eleven-year journey, I met a group of women who are committed to bringing the views and vision of this remarkable into the lives of our children.  I applaud the leadership of ABC for inviting me to join in a relationship to advocate for Nannie Heln Burroughs, recognizing that Burroughs' views and those of the church have not always been consistent.  I am convinced that Nannie helen Burroughs would highly pleased with the efforts by ABC. Click here to listen!
  • Click here to see the Nannie Helen Burroughs Day 2015 Program at the Washington, DC MLK Library.
  • In September of 2017, Miss Burroughs' home church, the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, DC, presented 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 this remarkable woman's views back into our lives. Therefore, I applauded the 19th Street Baptist Church for what appeared to be the beginning of their recognizing the important contributions of Burroughs to the church, our race, and country. However, the cooperation expected has not materialized.
  • On May 19, 2018 we held a "Wreath-Laying Ceremony" at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery representing the 57th Anniversary of Miss Burroughs demise. The leaders of our Black Baptist Conventions were requested to send letters of tribute. There were no responses.
  • The project has been funded since 2010 with my personal resources. I have now established a nonprofit and plan to seek grant funds to support the effort. After ten years of advocating for the views and vision of Nannie Helen Burroughs, I have concluded that the best chance for establishing her legacy discussing her views and vision rests with our young people. Therefore, while I continue to pursue an open and honest discussion in our Black community about Miss Burroughs, my grant pursuit, not yet underway, will be to explore ways to bring a discussion of her life and works to HBCUs across the country.

Upcoming Events 

  • There are no planned events. However, the project is available for participation in community events. Ideas about how to engage the community and increase knowledge about the work of this remarkable woman are appreciated.





“…We pay tribute to a great woman today. She was fearless and self-possessed, poised and intelligent…She left an unwritten blueprint for devout builders. God grant that she will not have lived and toiled in vain.”

The above Eulogy was delivered by Dr. Earl L. Harrison, Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, D.C., at the funeral held on May 25, 1961, at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, Washington. The Home Going Service was three hours long and attended by eight hundred people. There were ninety-five ministers in attendance and nine spoke from the pulpit. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt sent flowers. He signs the message, “Her Friend.” (The Worker magazine, 3rd quarter of 1961).

Epilogue: Our current efforts represent simply a point along the way. The objective of the Nannie Helen Burroughs Project and her legacy will only have been achieved when she can look down upon us from her resting place and say: “The people applied my teachings, improved themselves economically, intellectually, politically, and socially, and they have become first-class citizens.”



White Woman's Final Tribute, 1964: Nannie Helen Burroughs influence over her people can hardly be 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."

Dr. William Holmes Borders, Pastor of Atlanta's Wheat Street Baptist Church and Morehouse College Professor of Religion, showed his admiration for the life and works of Nannie Helen Burroughs in his 1943 poem: "I Am Somebody---I am a moulder of Character in Nannie Burroughs" He recites the poem in a musical setting, with commentary about our history and education:   Google Dr. William Holmes Borders , I Am Somebody UTube.

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