Southern Legend: Septima Clark- Activist, Educator & More

Today we are honoring a true southern legend, Septima Clark. This Charleston, South Carolina was a teacher and a leader of the Civil Rights movement. Today we are highlighting some of our favorite images of Septima Clark and share her life story through photography. Check out our favorite images below.

Southern Legend: Septima Clark- Activist, Educator & More

A true leader of the Civil Rights movement,  as part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, she set up citizenship schools that helped many African Americans register to vote

Septima Poinsette Clark was born on in Charleston, South Carolina, May 3, 1898, the second of eight children. Her father—who had been born a slave—and mother both encouraged her to get an education. Clark attended public school, then worked to earn the money needed to attend the Avery Normal Institute, a private school for African Americans.

Clark attended public school, then worked to earn the money needed to attend the Avery Normal Institute, a private school for African Americans.

Clark retired from the SCLC in 1970. In 1979, Jimmy Carter honored her with a Living Legacy Award. She received the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, in 1982.

In 1987, Clark’s second autobiography, Ready from Within: Septima Clark and Civil Rights, won an American Book Award (her first autobiography, Echo in My Soul, had been published in 1962).

Want to learn more about Septima Clark? Check out this book below:

Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark

In the mid-1950s, Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), a former public school teacher, developed a citizenship training program that enabled thousands of African Americans to register to vote and then to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment. In this vibrantly written biography, Katherine Charron demonstrates Clark’s crucial role–and the role of many black women teachers–in making education a cornerstone of the twentieth-century freedom struggle. Using Clark’s life as a lens, Charron sheds valuable new light on southern black women’s activism in national, state, and judicial politics, from the Progressive Era to the civil rights movement and beyond.

Article Credits:

Septima Poinsette Clark Biography from Biography.com

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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