Ella D. Barrier

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Ella D. Barrier
Ella D Barrier cropped.jpg
Born1852 (1852)
Brockport, New York
DiedFebruary 9, 1945(1945-02-09) (aged 92–93)
Alma materBrockport Normal and Training School

Ella D. Barrier (1852 — February 9, 1945) was an American educator and clubwoman. Her younger sister was Fannie Barrier Williams.

Early life[edit]

Ella (or Ellen) D. Barrier was born in Brockport, New York, the daughter of Anthony J. Barrier, a barber, and Harriet A. Prince Barrier. Both parents were born in the northern United States.[1] Her younger sister was Fannie Barrier Williams. Ella graduated from the Brockport Normal and Training School in 1871, trained to be a school teacher.[2]


Ella Barrier was hired in 1875 to teach in the segregated schools of Washington D. C.. She stayed in Washington for more than forty years, working as a teacher, school principal, and clubwoman. Barrier helped develop the Washington branch of the YWCA. In 1891 she taught in Toronto, as part of a teacher exchange project.[3] In 1900 she and her sister traveled as African-American representatives at the Paris Exposition,[4] and to the First Pan-African Conference in London, in a delegation that included Anna Julia Cooper and W. E. B. DuBois.[5] She was active in the Colored Women's League in Washington.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Ella D. Barrier and her sister lived together in Brockport in their last years.[8] Fannie died in 1944, and Ella died in 1945, aged 92 years.


  1. ^ William G. Andrews and Richard W. Black, A Century in the Life of an African-American Family: The Barriers of Brockport, an online exhibit (Brockport Community Museum 2016).
  2. ^ Wanda A. Hendricks, Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race (University of Illinois Press 2013): 30. ISBN 9780252095870
  3. ^ Vivian M. May, "Historicizing Intersectionality Through a Critical Lens: Returning to the Work of Anna Julia Cooper" in Carol Faulkner, ed., Interconnections: Gender and Race in American History (Boydell & Brewer 2014): 27. ISBN 9781580465076
  4. ^ "Colored Americans Dine" Colored American (August 25, 1900): 3. via Newspapers.comopen access
  5. ^ Vivian M. May, Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction (Routledge 2012): 28, 31. ISBN 9781135911553
  6. ^ Untitled news item, Colored American (January 4, 1902): 1. via Newspapers.comopen access
  7. ^ John William Gibson, The Colored American: from Slavery to Honorable Citizenship (J. L. Nichols 1902): 207.
  8. ^ Faith Berry, From Bondage to Liberation: Writings by and about Afro-Americans (A&C Black 2006): 348. ISBN 9780826418142

External links[edit]