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“C” is for Clark, Septima Poinsette

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  “C” is for Clark, Septima Poinsette [1898-1987]. Educator, civil rights activist. In 1916 Clark completed the teacher training program at Avery Institute and taught on Johns Island and at Avery. After several moves out of state, Clark taught for a while in Columbia before returning to Charleston. In both cities she as an active member of the Methodist church, various educational organizations, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1956, she lost her job with the Charleston County School System because she refused to disavow membership in the NAACP. After attending a workshop at the Highlands Folk School, she became well versed in its interracial community organizing work. Septima Poinsette Clark began organizing what would be called “citizenship school” model that ultimately engaged thousands of ordinary people in literacy and political education throughout the South.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.