Nannie Helen Burroughs

American activist

Nannie Helen Burroughs (May 2 1879May 20 1961) was an influential African American, author, educator, orator, and religious leader.

Nannie Helen Burroughs, by Rotograph Co., New York City, 1909.


  • For a number of years there has been a righteous discontent, a burning zeal to go forward in His name among the Baptist women of our churches and it will be the dynamic force in the religious campaign at the opening of the 20th century.
    • How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping September 1900 National Baptist Convention.
    • Speech given at 1900 National Baptist Convention, Richmond Virginia.
  • White women are learning the political game. They are not as keen as they look. In the fight for reforms, they are overlooking or undervaluing their greatest moral asset – the Negro woman. The Negro woman neglected or ignored is the greatest political menace with which the white woman will have to contend. Adopted into the political family and educated, the Negro woman will become the safest and most valuable ally; neglected, she will become an enemy and a menace.
  • The present attitude on the part of white women to ignore or undervalue the colored woman, or to accept Negro women who are picked by Tom, Dick or Harry, forebodes evil and ill for both groups. What the white women who are political leaders of their race – white women of class and culture – must do to safeguard the interests of both races, morally and politically, is to select Negro women of education, culture, ability and class – those who are above political and social price – and give them place in their party councils and conferences.
  • The women who have pushed themselves forward into the political arena during the past three or four years, for the most part, are women who are absolutely without followers in their own race.
  • The Negro must unload the leeches and parasitic leaders who are absolutely eating the life out of the struggling, desiring mass of people.
  • The “Uncle Toms” are greater enemies than Tillman or Cole Blease had ever been to the Negro race. They have sold us for a mess of pottage. We got the mess, but not the pottage.
  • Men must have life, the opportunity to learn, to labor, to love. Without these fundamental virtues we cannot achieve. We must not give up the struggle until this is obtained.
  • Human beings are equipped with divinely planted yearnings and longings. That’s what the constitution meant by “certain unalienable rights”!
  • The Anglo-Saxon has four great loves. Love of liberty, love of home, love of women, and love of life. He’ll wade through blood for these. When we make up our minds to not take substitutes for them, we’ll get them.
  • We must have a glorified womanhood that can look any man in the face — white, red, yellow, brown or black — and tell of the nobility of character within black womanhood.
  • top making slaves and servants of our women. We’ve got to stop singing — “Nobody works but father.” The Negro mother is doing it all. The women are carrying the burden.

Quotes about Nannie Helen Burroughs

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