Lesser Feasts and Fasts

RECOMMENDED FEAST DAY TO OBSERVESunday, February 28 is the Lesser Feast of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper was born about 1859 in Raleigh, North Carolina, to an enslaved woman and a white man, presumably her mother’s master. She attended St. Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute, founded by the Episcopal Church to educate African American teachers and clergy. There she became an Episcopalian and married George Cooper, one of her instructors, who was the second African American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in North Carolina.   Elizabeth Evelyn Wright was born in Talbotton, Georgia, in 1872. Her father was an African American and her mother of Cherokee descent.  With the encouragement of her teachers, Lizzie, as she was called, enrolled at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. She worked for the school during the day and attended night classes, but Olivia Washington, wife of the head of Tuskegee, Booker T. Washington, noted her promise and strength of character. Mrs. Washington made it possible for Lizzie to attend day classes.   Eternal God, you inspired Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright with the love of learning and the joy of teaching: Help us also to gather and use the resources of our communities for the education of all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Holy Women, Holy Men)