“I train the people to do their own talking”: Septima Clark and Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Septima Clark (right) and Rosa Parks (left) with Coretta Scott King, at the "1000 Women Honor Rosa Parks" event in Detroit, 1961, from the Septima Poinsette Clark Scrapbook, 1919-1983, courtesy of Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina.

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“I train the people to do their own talking”: Septima Clark and Women in the Civil Rights Movement

by David P. Cline, Katherine MellenCharron, Jacquelyn DowdHall, Eugene P.Walker
Southern Cultures, Vol. 16, No. 2: Southern Lives

"They don't give the women any of the glory."

Septima Poinsette Clark is a name that should be as familiar to us as Rosa Parks. Both women contributed significantly to the African American freedom struggle, and striking similarities exist in their stories. Each had a long record of participation in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); each challenged segregation and was arrested as a result; and each worked with Martin Luther King. In fact, four months before Rosa Parks’s infamous arrest, she attended a workshop at the Highlander Folk School, an interracial adult education center in Monteagle, Tennessee, where activists gathered to devise solutions for problems in their communities and where Clark served as Director of Education.

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