Adella Hunt Logan

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2019-10-01 21:09Z by Steven

Adella Hunt Logan

Harvard Magazine
September-October 2019

Adele Logan Alexander, Emeritus Professor of History
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.


Hunt Logan in June 1901, after earning her “honorary” master’s degree from Atlanta University
Collection of the author; reproduction photograph by Mark Gulezian

Historian Adele Logan Alexander ’59 is Adella Hunt Logan’s only granddaughter. Her family memoir Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South (Yale), appears this month. The portrait of Hunt Logan opposite, by the Parisian-trained, African-American painter William Edouard Scott, was begun in 1915 while he was in residence at Tuskegee and completed at her daughter’s direction in 1918.

Brief life of a rebellious black suffragist: 1863-1915

Soon after meeting Susan B. Anthony in 1895 at a convention of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association (N-AWSA) in Atlanta, Adella Hunt Logan wrote to the suffragist leader, “I am working with women who are slow to believe that they will get help from the ballot, but someday I hope to see my daughter vote right here in the South.” She strove to spur often frightened or otherwise reluctant black women to political action through gaining access to the ballot; she lobbied for equal pay as well, and ultimately espoused women’s reproductive rights.

The letter and Hunt Logan herself were virtually unique, because in her own eyes, and as specified by law, she was “a Negro.” Due to her predominantly Caucasian ancestry, however (both her mother and her black-Cherokee-white maternal grandmother maintained longstanding, consensual relationships with slaveholding white men), Hunt Logan herself looked white. As an adult, she occasionally “passed” to travel on the Jim Crow South’s railways, and to attend segregated political gatherings, such as the N-AWSA’s, from which she brought suffrage tactics and materials back to share with her own people. At the time, she was the N-AWSA’s only African-American lifetime member, and the only such member from ultraconservative Alabama, where she lived with her husband, Warren Logan, and their children, and taught for three decades at Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute, the agricultural and industrial school for black Southerners that drew such prominent visitors as Frederick Douglass, Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, and philanthropists Andrew Carnegie and Julius Rosenwald….

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States, Women on 2019-09-26 00:14Z by Steven

Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South

Yale University Press
2019-09-24
352 pages
6⅛ x 9¼
9 b/w illus.
Hardcover ISBN: 9780300242607

Adele Logan Alexander, Emeritus Professor of History
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Born in the late nineteenth century into an affluent family of mixed race—black, white, and CherokeeAdella Hunt Logan (1863–1915) was a key figure in the fight to obtain voting rights for women of color. A professor at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and a close friend of Booker T. Washington, Adella was in contact with luminaries such as Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Despite her self-identification as an African American, she looked white and would often pass for white at segregated suffrage conferences, gaining access to information and political tactics used in the “white world” that might benefit her African American community.

Written by Adella’s granddaughter Adele Logan Alexander, this long-overdue consideration of Adella’s pioneering work as a black suffragist is woven into a riveting multigenerational family saga and shines new light on the unresolved relationships between race, class, gender, and power in American society.

Tags: , ,

A Conversation With Adele Logan Alexander

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Interviews, Passing, United States, Women on 2019-05-20 15:30Z by Steven

A Conversation With Adele Logan Alexander

Yale University Press
Fall/Winter 2019
page 18


Photo by Jossyan Musumeci.

What was your inspiration for writing this book [Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South]?

Since I was named for her, Adella Hunt Logan has intrigued and inspired me for decades, but she was always a mystery presence in my life. I only learned as an adult that she’d been a fierce suffrage advocate. Admirable, I thought, since my mother, my aunts, and I were also African American feminists.

How do you perceive Adella’s racial heritage?

Adella was a black woman who looked white, but I don’t believe that she felt ambiguous or hesitant about her identity as an African American. Virtually all of Adella’s male progenitors were white. Sometimes those relationships were coercive, but not always. Her maternal grandmother, whom I portray as the most important influence on her early life, was black, white, and Cherokee.

How did Adella’s racial ambiguity impact her life in the Jim Crow South?

She deliberately or inadvertently “passed” as white on many occasions, primarily to obtain medical care or to attend all-white, segregated suffrage conventions. Mostly her goal in “passing” was to learn and to bring back what she learned to her own African American community.

What sources did you use to reconstruct Adella’s story?

Years ago, I wrote about some of the rare free women of color in the Old South. At that time, I accessed myriad traditional sources—maps; school, church, and census records; letters; previous scholarship, and the like—but for this book, I’ve also tapped into the passions, lore, traditions, and memorabilia that I inherited, especially through oral history.

Tags: , ,

The Life And Times Of Adella Hunt Logan: Educator, Mother, Wife, And Suffragist, 1863-1915

Posted in Biography, Dissertations, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2014-01-23 21:34Z by Steven

The Life And Times Of Adella Hunt Logan: Educator, Mother, Wife, And Suffragist, 1863-1915

Florida State University
November 2012

Daria Willis

Adella Hunt Logan was a woman trapped between two worlds. She was a mulatto who suffered from the pressures and injustices of Jim Crow America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The impact of Adella Logan’s life is seen beginning in 1883 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She maintained a large family while making a lasting impact on the Tuskegee community, as well as the women’s suffrage movement. Adella often led a life full of contradictions that can be attributed to her social status as well as her mixed racial heritage. Nonetheless, her efforts at advancing the cause of lower-class blacks and the students and teachers at Tuskegee Institute cannot be denied. This study discusses Adella Logan in terms of race, class, and gender. It is the story of an African American woman, an unusual American family, and the world she lived in.

Read the entire dissertation here on of after 2020-01-14.

Tags: , , , , , ,