Lost to History: African-American’s Views and Vision – On The Way To
An Improved America
Project Objective: To Recognize Her Contributions and Establish Her Legacy

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African-American History Education
based in Annapolis, Maryland

Colonel (ret.) James E. Wyatt founded the Nannie Helen Burroughs Project in 2010 based on the following premise:
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men" - Frederick Douglass

The essence of the project is to address the observation of a chapter president of The National Council of Negro Women: "We've heard about her, but we don't know about her."

An American Hero
Her views and vision from 1900 onward capture the important issues and problems in America, while offering solutions through her exceptional analytical and oratorical skills. After a 1934 Florida Speech, a White woman rose to her feet and exclaimed: “I do not deal in superlatives, but Miss Burroughs has given a matchless address. She is not only up-to-date in her understanding and analyses of great questions, but she is 50 years ahead of her time”. Howard University Dean Kelly Miller said: “There is no speaker on the American platform who can excel her in…homely powerful presentation of truth that strikes home and response”. Later he exclaimed: “She was a dynamo of energy.  Tracking her was no easy task.  It was like trying to capture the winds in my hands. She moved at an extraordinary pace, touching down on literally every aspect of Negro life for over six decades”.

Nannie Helen Burroughs, Black Activist in Annapolis, MD


 During a Period of 6 Decades, Burroughs:

• Encouraged Blacks towards
• Argued for Institutional and Political Change
• Urged Blacks to Fight Discrimination
• Demanded Whites to Reject the Attitudes 
   and Policies of Racism
• Challenged Both Races to Cooperate in Building
   a Just Society

An Admired Leader

Nannie Helen Burroughs had a hold on the loyalty and esteem of the colored masses and was regarded all over the broad land as a combination of brains, courage and incorruptibleness. She was straightforward and balanced in her views on all issues and was known as a "Truth-teller". One of the probable reasons for her being lost to history is that she took us "out of our comfort-zone". In the early 1900s, she wrote: "12 Things The Negro Must Do For Himself" and "12 Things White Folks Must Stop Doing". To open and read, please activate the Bullet.
“12 Things…”, Burroughs circa 1900

- During the summer of 2014, we participated in the DC Government Summer Hire Youth Program.  We hosted five students who completed the task of placing Burroughs’ message on social media. We encourage you to “like” us and comment.

Project Activity

Since 2010, presentations have been made to churches, schools, social, civic, and community organizations in Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Colorado. During Black History Month, 2015, presentations were made at the University of the District of Columbia, New Redeemer Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and The Greenwood Acres Full Gospel Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. It is noted here that Colonel Wyatt believes Burroughs' message should be available to our children 365-24-7.

On April 28, 2015, the Daniel A.P. Murray African American Association sponsored our presentation at the library of congress. Contrary to the usual power point presentation, we used the event as a tune-up for our May 9, 2015 celebration of Nannie Helen Burroughs Day. Attendees were selected to read excerpts of Burroughs vast array of speeches and writings. Ms, Adrienne Cannon, Manuscript historian for the African American Collection, displayed some of Burroughs documents rarely seen in public.

On May 9, 2015, we did honor Nannie Helen Burroughs at M.L.K Library in Washington, DC, with the program theme of: "Celebrating her Contributions - Establishing Her Legacy". The program was designed around readings of her speeches and writings. Interestingly, one of the readings was her 1934 Spring Commencement Speech at Tuskegee Institute, eighty-one years removed from this month's commencement speech by our First Lady . You are aware that Burroughs and Booker T. Washington were very close friends.
Please click on the below bullets to see that reading and other aspects of the program.

. Program Flyer
. Program Content
. Welcome and Program Overview
. Tuskegee Commencement Speech
Contact us today in Annapolis, Maryland, for details about this heroic black leader.