Septima Poinsette – activist,teacher, wife

Septima Poinsette Clark was a teacher and civil rights activist whose citizenship schools helped enfranchise and empower African Americans.

Born on May 3, 1898, in Charleston, South Carolina, Septima Poinsette Clark branched out into social action with the NAACP while working as a teacher. As part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, she set up citizenship schools that helped many African Americans register to vote. Clark was 89 when she died on December 15, 1987, on South Carolina’s Johns Island.

Early Life

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.

Teaching and Early Activism

Clark qualified as a teacher, but Charleston did not hire African Americans to teach in its public schools. Instead, she became an instructor on South Carolina’s Johns Island in 1916.

In 1919, Clark returned to Charleston to teach at the Avery Institute. She also joined with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in trying to get the city to hire African-American teachers. By gathering signatures in favor of the change, Clark helped ensure that the effort was successful.

Clark married Nerie Clark in 1920. Her husband died of kidney failure five years later. She then moved to Columbia, South Carolina, where she continued teaching and also joined the local chapter of the NAACP. Clark worked with the organization—and with Thurgood Marshall—on a 1945 case that sought equal pay for black and white teachers. She described it as her “first effort in a social action challenging the status quo.” Her salary increased threefold when the case was won.

Going back to Charleston in 1947, Clark took up another teaching post, while maintaining her NAACP membership. However, in 1956, South Carolina made it illegal for public employees to belong to civil rights groups. Clark refused to renounce the NAACP and, as a result, lost her job.

Civil Rights Leader

Clark was next hired by Tennessee’s Highlander Folk School, an institution that supported integration and the Civil Rights Movement. She had previously participated in and led workshops there during breaks from school (Rosa Parks had attended one of her workshops in 1955).

Clark soon was directing Highlander’s Citizenship School program. These schools helped regular people learn how to instruct others in their communities in basic literacy and math skills. One particular benefit of this teaching was that more people were then able to register to vote (at the time, many states used literacy tests to disenfranchise African Americans).

In 1961, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference took over this education project. Clark then joined the SCLC as its director of education and teaching. Under her leadership, more than 800 citizenship schools were created.

Awards and Legacy

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).

Clark was 89 when she died on Johns Island on December 15, 1987. Over her long career of teaching and civil rights activism, she helped many African Americans begin to take control of their lives and discover their full rights as citizens.

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sick time check-up –

We are Working Washington

It doesn’t matter what your boss says. It doesn’t matter what your job title is. And it doesn’t matter what city you work in.

As of January 1, 2018, if you’re an hourly worker in Washington state, you get paid sick time.

And that’s why we’re reaching out today.

Can you answer a few quick questions to make sure your employer is following the new sick time law, and you and your co-workers are getting what you’re entitled to?


Paid sick time has been the law since January 1st. Under the new law, all hourly workers in Washington get 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked — about 6 days a year if you work full-time. And the law says you have a right to use your sick time if you’re sick, for a medical appointment, or to care for a sick family member.

Now it’s up to us to make sure that right is a reality in every workplace in our state. Take our sick time check-up so we can see how we’re doing.


Working Washington

Several Eagles players already refusing to celebrate Super Bowl win with Trump

By refusing to visit the White House, Chris Long, Torrey Smith, and Malcolm Jenkins have taken a bold stance against this illegitimate president and the racist, xenophobic, and sexist policies he stands for. They are risking the alienation of his teammates, coaches, and fans in order to stand up for his principles.

Their stance shouldn’t be taken lightly. After the past year of national anthem protests on the field, and strong condemnation from team owners and Donald Trump, these players are putting their livelihood on the line and risking alienation from their teammates and fans – all to condemn racism and misogyny from this president. We’re in a pivotal moment when everyday Americans and public figures with shared values of justice and equity are using their powerful voices to say enough is enough–no more racism, no more anti-Muslim bigotry, no more misogyny, and no more Trump!We need to continue to support the athletes that are risking their livelihoods to stand up for justice.


Tell Chris Long, Torrey Smith, Malcolm Jenkins and the teammates that that join them, “Thank You!” for standing with our communities.

The end of the truman era and the beginning of Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil rights Act

Civil Rights Under Truman and Eisenhower
As the Cold War raged during the late 1940s and 1950s, great changes occurred in American society, especially concerning civil rights. The civil rights movement gathered strength and momentum during the postwar years.
Truman and Civil Rights
In efforts to preserve the support of southern whites, Truman at first avoided issues of civil rights for blacks. But he could not stay removed for long. In 1947, the Presidential Committee on Civil Rights, created a year earlier, produced a report, To Secure These Rights, calling for the elimination of segregation. In 1948, Truman endorsed the findings of the report and called for an end to racial discrimination in federal hiring practices. He also issued an executive order to end segregation in the military, an initiative that would be completed by Eisenhower. Although these moves cost Truman the support of many southern whites, the increased support of black voters made up for the political loss.
Eisenhower and the Civil Rights Acts
Eisenhower backed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1960. The former created a permanent Civil Rights Commission, as well as a Civil Rights Division within the Justice Department aimed at combating efforts to deny blacks the vote. The latter granted the federal courts the authority to register black voters.
Brown v. Board of Education
The fight for civil rights took a major leap forward in May 1954, when the Supreme Court, under the leadership of liberal Chief Justice Earl Warren, handed down one of the most famous decisions in American judicial history. In the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the Court overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision and ruled that segregation of schools was unconstitutional, arguing that separate schools are inherently unequal. The Court demanded that the states desegregate immediately. Eisenhower ordered the desegregation of Washington, D.C., schools but at first refused to force southern states to comply with the Court’s ruling. Encouraged by this lack of federal backing, southern state governments engaged in “massive resistance” by choosing not to desegregate schools and by denying funding to districts that attempted desegregation. The resistance to integration was so fierce in Arkansas that Eisenhower dispatched federal troops to Little Rock to force desegregation of public schools there.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine established by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. In 1957, federal troops were called into Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce integration of public schools.
The Civil Rights Movement Takes Shape
Amid the conflict over Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, a strong civil rights movement began taking shape in the South. In December 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, a black woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her bus seat to a white man. Led by a minister, Martin Luther King Jr., Montgomery blacks organized a boycott of the bus system. Despite violent attacks on black leaders, the boycott continued, reducing bus revenue by over 60 percent. In 1956, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision outlawing segregation on buses.
The success of the Montgomery bus boycott inspired civil rights leaders to adopt Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolent civil disobedience. To direct his followers in a campaign against segregation and discrimination, King and other black ministers established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957. The SCLC soon found an ally in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which formed after a number of sit-ins at businesses that discriminated against blacks.
The civil rights movement gained strength by employing the doctrine of nonviolent civil disobedience during the 1950s. Led by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, southern blacks staged direct acts of defiance against segregation.