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Addie Waites Hunton

Addie Waites Hunton (1866-1943) was an influential African-American activist, educator, and writer who played a significant role in advancing the rights of African-Americans and women during the early 20th century. She was an advocate for racial and gender equality, focusing on civil rights, suffrage, and international peace. Hunton was born on June 11, 1866, in Norfolk, Virginia. She grew up in a prominent African-American family that emphasized education and community activism. Her father, William Waites, was a successful businessman, and her mother, Addie Waites, was a teacher.

She attended the Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Virginia, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1886. Hunton then pursued further education at the University of Kansas, where she completed her master’s degree in 1893. Throughout her life, Hunton dedicated herself to advocating for the rights and well-being of African-Americans. She actively fought against racial discrimination and injustice, both nationally and internationally. Hunton was involved in the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), serving as the organization’s president from 1920 to 1924. Under her leadership, the NACW worked to address issues such as lynching, voting rights, and educational opportunities for African-Americans.

Addie Waites Hunton and Kathryn M. Johnson at a YMCA camp

Hunton was also a strong supporter of women’s suffrage. She believed in the importance of women’s voices and actively campaigned for the right to vote. She served as the national organizer and field secretary for the National Woman’s Party (NWP) and participated in suffrage parades and demonstrations.

In addition to her domestic activism, Hunton was an advocate for international peace and justice. She was involved in the Pan-African Congress movement and worked alongside prominent figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey. Hunton also attended the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919, where she advocated for racial equality and the rights of African peoples. As a writer, Hunton contributed to various publications and authored several books. Her works include “The Education of the Negro Woman,” “The Truth about Lynching and the Negro in the South,” and “Twenty-Five Years in the Black Belt.”

Addie Waites Hunton’s tireless efforts and activism made a significant impact on the civil rights movement and the fight for equality. She challenged social norms and worked to dismantle barriers faced by African-Americans and women. Her work as an educator, organizer, and writer left a lasting legacy and continues to inspire generations of activists.

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