Hi Damita, I don't know this family, just did some looking for you. I hope it helps.
Cook-Parrish, Mary Virginia
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1945
An education and religious leader, Cook-Parrish spoke before the American Baptist Home Mission Society on 'Female Education' in 1888. She was a professor at the Kentucky Baptist College, then known as State University [later Simmons University]. She became a journalist in 1886 with The American Baptist while at the same time editing a column with The South Carolina Tribune, writing under the pen name Grace Ermine. She spoke out on women's suffrage and full equality in employment, education, social reform, and church work. Cook-Parrish was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of Ellen Buckner. She was the wife of Charles H. Parrish, Sr. Cook-Parrish's death certificate has her age as 77 years old. Additional information can be found in the Charles Parrish, Jr. Papers at the University of Louisville Libraries. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Africana: the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience, edited by K. A. Appiah and H. L. Gates, Jr.; and "Prof. Mary v. Cook, A.B." in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Parrish, Charles H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1931
Born into slavery in Lexington, KY, to Hiram, a teamster, and Henrietta Parrish, a seamstress. Charles Parrish became pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Louisville, KY; president of Eckstein Norton College; and later president of Simmons University (KY). He founded the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children. In 1905, he attended the World Baptist Alliance in London, England, and in 1912 was named a fellow in the British Royal Historical Society as a result of his research in Palestine. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on the University of Kentucky campus and off-campus via the proxy server]; Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams; and "Reverend Charles Henry Parrish" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Parrish's Early Life, Education, and Career
Mary Virginia Cook Parrish was born a slave in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on August 8, 1862. With the help of William J. Simmons and the white American Baptist Woman's Hope Society of Boston, she enrolled at State University in Louisville in 1881. Later, State University would be renamed in Simmons's honor. (3) Northern white Baptist women paid her tuition, and she graduated as valedictorian of the Normal Department in 1883 and the College Department in 1887. (4) According to Higginbotham, Parrish was the most scholarly of three black women who were aided by northern white women. The other two women were Lucy Wilmot Smith, also a graduate of State University, and Virginia Broughton, a member of Fisk University's first graduating class and a missionary in Tennessee. Women like Parrish, Broughton, and Smith were, in Higginbotham's words, examples of the "high quality of women's national powers." They were "widely read" and represented an educated "female elite" that "challenged" those who "assigned intellect to men and emotionalism to women." (5)
In two 1885 letters to the New England women who supported her education, Parrish wrote of parallels between the missionary societies of black women and that of white women. According to Higginbotham, Parrish addressed two different themes: (1) the "racial self-help during a time of disfranchisement and [when] pervasive violence [was] readily apparent," and (2) "interracial cooperation." (6) After finishing school, Parrish wrote articles in black newspapers, produced an anthology, and gave speeches before various organizations, including the all-black American National Baptist Convention (ANBC), 1886-1896, the precursor to the National Baptist Convention. She was a member of the executive board of the ANBC and wrote a statement on black Baptist doctrine that appeared in Negro Baptist Pulpit (1890). (7)
Parrish held many prominent positions in black Baptist life. Along with twenty men, she was a member of the executive board of the National Baptist Educational Convention. She served as editor of the women's column of the Louisville American Baptist and as education editor of a new journal, Our Women and Children. (8) Parrish also wrote articles for Hope, a magazine edited by Joanna R Moore, a white northern missionary. The magazine was an important link between black Baptist women's state conventions. (9)
Parrish was not silent in publicly voicing civil rights violations before whites. In 1892, when lynching had reached an all-time high in the country, Parrish wrote to the white Kennebec Association in Maine, voicing "despondency and outrage!" With the "death toll" at 155 lynched blacks, she "questioned" the nature of "black progress," and the reasons blacks continued to be staunch Christians. (10)
Writing in the National Baptist Magazine in 1895, Parrish recognized the importance of the work of the convention, especially in the South. She viewed the new convention as being responsible for "land acquisition, school construction, the founding of organizations for the aged and infirmed." She criticized the period's materialism, encouraged black women to "rally around [their] men, and prove by their culture's dignified bearing that human rights are ... more worthy of protection than American industry." (11)
Parrish and the Women's Convention
The National Baptist Convention (NBC) was extremely important to black men and women, like Parrish and her husband. E. Franklin Frazier noted that the convention was a "nation within a nation." (12) Higginbotham asserted that it is "difficult" to overstate the importance of the NBC and the Women's Convention to African Americans in the twentieth century, especially if one views the convention from the perspective of the masses. The people attending the annual sessions were primarily "common people" with "limited" finances. In spite of "low income, transportation, and housing difficulties posed by segregation laws, thousands of blacks traveled to annual sessions to share experiences and friendships." (13) The annual sessions brought about a "group identity" based upon "denominational and racial affiliation." The strength in numbers of the convention was seen as a "source of pride." By 1906, the NBC consisted of 2,354,789 members representing 61.4 percent of all black church members in the United States. By 1916, the membership had grown to 2,938,579. (14)
The Women's Convention (WC), an auxiliary to the NBC, was founded in 1900. (15) The first decade showed a "continuation" of a nineteenth-century agenda that included making home visits, organizing Bible reading, setting up mothers' classes, collecting clothes for the needy, organizing old folks' homes and orphanages, establishing nurseries and kindergartens, and helping finance educational institutions. In 1908, Parrish was elected as the WC treasurer. (16) The WC, however, was not in favor of women who joined the organization as "a fad and for social prestige," but instead valued what Parrish called "ordinary women." (17)
Perhaps one of the greatest efforts of the convention was the founding of the National Training School for Women and Girls in 1909, of which Parrish was chair of the board of trustees. (18) The school, located in Washington, D.C., was the dream of Nannie Helen Burroughs (18791961), who, although younger than Parrish, was much better known. (19) In its first twenty-five years, the school, which included a high school and junior college, had enrolled over 2,000 students, taught domestic science philosophy, trained missionaries, and taught secretarial skills and black history. By 1938, the school was worth $200,000. (20)
Regardless of work by women like Burroughs and Parrish, the WC remained only an auxiliary of the NBC, and the women had no voting privileges in the NBC. The situation led to a battle between the male-dominated NBC and the women-led WC and its National Training School. The struggle between religious organizations within the NBC was related to sexism. (21) This controversy serves as an excellent example of the NBC leaders' attitudes toward women at the turn of the century. By 1916, the school had become the focus of attention, and the men attempted to take over the school. Related to this was a controversy over the ownership of the NBC publishing house. Eventually, these controversies resulted in a lawsuit and the splintering of the NBC in 1915. Calling for consolidation of all its boards, including the WC and the National Training School, the NBC filed for incorporation. (22)