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. "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell’s 1949 published novel, “1984” Project Goal: For the sake of the future of our children and country, to interject Nannie Helen Burroughs’ views (Christian living, critical-thinking, search for common ground) into today’s divisive racial, political and educational rhetoric.


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

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Project Activity 

  • Click here to see the 2015 Nannie Helen Burroughs Day Program at the Washington DC MLK Library.
  • Click here to see portions of a 2019 interview with Colonel Wyatt at the American Baptist College(ABC) in Nashville, Tennessee. The full interview may be seen on Youtube with the ABC President by googling Youtube video, A Tribute to Nannie Helen Burroughs. I had been invited to participate in the college's yearly celebration of Nannie Helen Burroughs' birthday. My display and handouts about her life, views and vision seem to have been well received by attendees. However, I was never invited back to the event.
  • The above action of the American Baptist College, which trains ministers for the Baptist church, is consistent with my Nannie Helen Burroughs relationship with other organizations one would think should be advocating for her views and contributions to our society. Specifically, I refer to the Washington, DC church where she started the Women's Auxiliary and Woman's Day and the National Baptist Conventions. I am prepared to give specifics about the lack of a relationship in these situations. In each case, there was initial enthusiasm and cooperation in presenting Burroughs' works, views and vision, only to not be extended subsequent invitations. Importantly, I have never heard any negative comment about Nannie Helen Burroughs from these sources, just silence.
  • All of the effort advocating for the work, views and vision of Nannie Helen Burroughs has been done with Colonel Wyatt's personal resources. He encourages you to reach out to him with your views and questions.

  • 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.”

    1933 AAA Membership Letter of Denial 2012 AAA Membership Award Program Tom Brokaw Tribute

    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 YouTube.

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