U.S.A. EDUCATION. CIVIL RIGHTS. Dr Anna Julia Cooper's Graduation Photo, 1923. (1858-1964) Born into enslavement but upon receiving her Ph.D in history from the University of Paris-Sorbonne in 1924, Cooper became the fourth African-American woman to earn a doctoral degree. Author, educator, speaker and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in United States history. She was also a prominent member of Washington, D.C.'s African-American community.