Clark, Septima Poinsette, 1898-1987


"American educator and civil rights activist. Her own experience of racial discrimination fueled her pursuit of racial equality and her commitment to strengthen the African-American community through literacy and citizenship...she was also active in several social and civic organizations, among them the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), with whom she campaigned, along with attorney Thurgood Marshall, for equal pay for black teachers in Columbia. In an effort to diminish the effectiveness of the NAACP, the South Carolina state legislature banned state employees from being associated with civil rights organizations, and in 1956 Clark left South Carolina for a job in Tennessee, refusing to withdraw from the NAACP. In Tennessee she helped found citizenship schools that were designed to aid literacy and foster a sense of political empowerment within the black community. Clark joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1961 as director of education and teaching. In 1962 the SCLC joined with other organizations to form the Voter Education Project, which trained teachers for citizenship schools and assisted in increased voter registration among African Americans. A decade later, due in no small measure to the persistent efforts of Clark and others, the first African Americans since Reconstruction were elected to the U.S. Congress."-- "Clark, Septima Poinsette." Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 1 Oct. 2007 .

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