Mary Talbert House

521 Michigan Avenue

Mary Burnett Talbert was an American orator, activist, suffragist, and reformer. Talbert was educated at Oberlin college at a time when it was controversial for any woman, let alone a woman of color, to receive such honors. She used her education and prodigious energies to improve the status of Black people at home and abroad. In addition to her anti-lynching and anti-racism work, Talbert supported women’s suffrage for both white women and women of color. As a founder of the Niagara Movement, she helped to launch organized civil rights activism in America that paved the way for organizations such as the NAACP. Her long leadership of women’s clubs helped develop black female organizations and leaders in New York and the United States, making the home a space of political activism. As a historic preservation pioneer, Talbert saved the Frederick Douglass home in Anacostia, D.C. after other efforts had failed. Her career and legacy demonstrate the importance of Black education, ownership, and place- making within the US as an oppressed minority.

Frederick Douglass's Home