Coralie Franklin Cook

Lived:January 1, 1861—August 25, 1942 (aged 81)

Coralie Franklin Cook was an African American suffragist, orator and scholar.

Descended from a woman enslaved by President Thomas Jefferson, Cook was born in Lexington, Virginia, in 1861 to Albert and Mary Elizabeth Edmondson Franklin. She graduated from Storer Normal School in 1880. After a few years of teaching at her alma mater, she moved to Washington, D.C., and served as the head of the Home for Colored Orphans and Aged Women for five years. In 1899, she married George William Cook, an academic and NAACP member, and joined the faculty at Howard University. Cook became the second Black woman appointed to the D.C. school board, the first being fellow suffragist Mary Church Terrell.

Cook was also a prominent figure in the suffrage movement, co-founding the National Association of Colored Women and joining the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Cook wrote many editorials for the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis, advocating for woman suffrage and criticizing white women’s treatment of Black women in the suffrage movement.

Cook died on August 25, 1942.

Brodgon, Danielle, Breanna Makonnen, Makiah Lyons, Karla Knight-Valdry, Sharilyn Clark, and Kieori Gethers. Biographical Sketch of Coralie Franklin Cook. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street, 2019.

“African American Women Leaders in the Suffrage Movement.” Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. Accessed January 27, 2020.