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Octavia V. Rogers
The birth of Octavia V. Rogers Albert in 1853 is celebrated on this date. She was a Black teacher and writer.
Octavia Victoria Rogers was born a slave in Oglethorpe, Georgia. After emancipation like millions of freed Blacks, she had a deep yearning for learning and eventually she studied to be a teacher at Atlanta University. She was as serious about being a Christian as she was about being a teacher. Like many of her contemporaries, Rogers saw teaching as a form of worship and Christian service. While still living in Oglethorpe, she joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was led by Bishop Henry McNeal Turner.
Her first teaching job was in Montezuma, Georgia. There, in 1874, she married another teacher at this school, A.E.P. Albert, who later became an ordained minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Soon after their marriage, the Alberts moved to Houma, Louisiana, where she began conducting interviews with men and women who were once enslaved. These interviews were the raw material for what became her gifted collection of narratives, "The House of Bondage," or "Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves." Octavia Victoria Rogers Albert did not live to see "The House of Bondage" reach the public.
It was shortly after her death in 1890 that the New Orleans-based Methodist Episcopal Church newspaper, the “Southwestern Christian Advocate” serialized her work from January to December 1890.
An Encyclopedia of African American Christian Heritage
by Marvin Andrew McMickle
Judson Press, Copyright 2002