Black History Month | Frances Watkins Harper

Posted February 5, 2014
By Kevin Spear

Church Bulletin of Frances Watkins Harper

Copyright 2014 | Warner Press


In the way of righteousness is life Proverbs 12:28

Frances Watkins Harper was known for her skill as a writer and lecturer in support of social and racial reform. Born as a free Black in Baltimore, Maryland, she was raised by her aunt and uncle, Rev. William Watkins, who was a civil rights activist. She was the first woman teacher at Union Seminary (now Wilberforce University). Then she moved to Pennsylvania where she worked with the Underground Railroad.

She wrote books of poetry, short stories, and novels published as serials in a Christian magazine. Because she wrote so many articles, she was called the mother of African-American journalism. One of her best-known works, the novel Iola Leroy was published when she was 67. As her popularity as a writer grew, she was called upon to lecture for the Anti-Slavery Society. Her speeches were so well received that she toured throughout the East and Midwest. A strong supporter of abolition, prohibition and women’s rights throughout her life, Watkins Harper was also instrumental in the foundation and leadership of many Christian and political organizations.

Illustration by Christian Elden

From the February 2, 2014 Heritage Collection Weekly Worship Bulletin Service.

This church bulletin cover is also available for individual order at

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