The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Hampton, Virginia. Battalion of Cadets…
Autographed by Major Allen Washington, Cadet Commander, this certificate appoints Algernon Cooper as a 2nd lieutenant in the Cadet Battalion of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1930. The document is counter signed by George Gray, military instructor.
A native of Mobile, Alabama, Algernon Johnson “A.J.” Cooper , Sr. (1908–1968) was initiated into the school’s Omega Psi Phi fraternity and later became a cashier there. An online obituary notes that Cooper “married a Lafayette, Louisiana creole by the name of Gladys Mouton” and the couple removed back to Mobile. “In an effort to help African Americans in Mobile confront Jim Crow in the 1930s and 40s, Bro. Cooper was a member of the NAACP’s Mobile branch.”
Cooper’s son, Algernon Johnson Cooper, Jr., was at the side of Robert F. Kennedy when Kennedy was assassinated. He escorted Coretta Scott King at Kennedy’s funeral.
Cadet commander Allen Wadsworth Washington was affectionately known as “Big Brother” and succeeded Robert Russa Moton in this role.
Description: The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Hampton, Virginia. Battalion of Cadets…
[Hampton, Virginia. 1930.] Partly-printed certificate. 10¾ x 14¼ inches, Framed, glazed, and with a Phoebus, Virginia framer’s label. General foxing, else very good.