Clement, Josephine

Biography:

Josephing Dobbs Clement, 1918-1998, was one of six daughters born to Irene Ophelia Thomspon Dobbs and John Wesley Dobbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Clement received her bachelor's degree from Spellman College in 1937 and her master's from Columbia University the following year. In the late 1940s, she moved with her husband, William A. Clement, to Durham, North Carolina, where she was active in local politics and social justice movements. She was appointed to the Durham City-County Charter Commission and afterwards ran for a seat on the city's board of education. During her time on the board, the courts ordered the city schools to desegregate, which prompted white flight and altered the racial composition of the city. Under her leadership as chair of the board, the city selected its first African American superintendent of schools. After resigning from the board of education, Clement became a county commissioner. In 1980 and 1984, Clement co-chaired the successful gubernatorial campaigns of Democrat James Hunt in Durham County.--From Oral Histories of the American South biography.

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