Referred to by many as the “queen mother of the civil rights movement,” Septima Poinsette Clark was an educator and activist. She was a tribute to all teachers, working hard for equality in education for both students and teachers. She taught math and English in a way that related to people’s lives. Along with the NAACP, she helped ensure that black and white teachers were paid equally by the state of South Carolina. At which point she was fired, after 40 years of teaching, because she was a member of the NAACP.
“I felt that in reality I was working for the accomplishment of something that ultimately would be good for everyone.”
She was a caring, giving, loving woman. Here’s what her granddaughter, Yvonne Clark, said about her grandmother:
“When she died, she had nothing left because she had taken out loans on everything to help other people…She always said to us “you can’t take it with you” so she lived her life that way. What she did have when she died was much love, respect and adoration from many people across the country.”
She wrote a number of award winning books and received the Living Legend Award from President Jimmy Carter in 1979. For more about her contributions, please visit your local library. Here’s a recent book about her life: