Koritha Mitchell on Frances Ellen Watkins Harper:
“Harper’s public career was most active from the 1850s to the 1890s, an impressive 50 years. She was at the forefront of movements for abolition, public education, temperance, and voting rights. And she did this work through leadership positions within black women’s organizations, such as the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). At the same time, she was one of the most prominent black women in predominantly white organizations, such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)—despite the racism she faced.
“In short, Harper’s life and work exemplify the tradition among black women to engage in justice-oriented activism not only while encountering hostility but also whether or not they receive the recognition that seem to flow to their black male and white woman colleagues.