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Tue, 09.20.1831

The Female Literary Association is Formed

FLA letter to Liberator News

*The Female Literary Association was formed on this date in 1831. The Female Literary Association (FLA) was a formal space where Black women exchanged knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and beliefs and prepared for a public role in abolition and community circles.

This association was started in Philadelphia, PA., by Sarah Mapps Douglas, who pushed back against political, racial, or social contexts; women were not supposed to talk openly. Setting up their parallel organization resulted in the association being instrumental for America's abolitionists and women's rights movements. In December 1832, they published an open letter in the Liberator Newspaper addressing suffrage and slavery and understanding the importance of the FLA's responsibility to challenge Black women's connection to their limited sphere.

The FLA provided a setting that enabled them to challenge gender restraints and kickstart a transformation in African American women's roles, a fact that Douglas completely understood. The female Literary Association lasted until 1833.

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