“Ain’t No Sorry”: Unapologetically, Septima Poinsette Clark
We should never cease to give well deserved accolades to our Black Queens. Those women who birthed our lineage, who cooked for our souls, who taught our minds and shaped our character. Sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, nieces, and cousins: women are major key! One woman we would like to highlight is a Civil Rights pioneer who held back nothing and risked her own career for the sake of obtaining equal rights for people of color. By effort and demand: we honor the “Mother of the Movement”, Septima Earthaline Poinsette Clark.
Septima Clark was born on May 3, 1898 in Charleston, South Carolina. Encouraged to pursue education by her mother and slave-born father, Clark saved her money to attend Avery Normal Institute. Upon receiving her teaching certification, Septima Clark was not permitted to work in her hometown of Charleston due to segregation laws preventing African Americans from teaching in the city, so she began teaching on John’s Island in 1916. Clearly, no good deed would go undone and no unfit law would stop the progression of education within the Civil Rights movement. Septima Clark was a rebel with cause.
When Clark moved to Columbia, South Carolina in the 1920s, she joined the local NAACP chapter and immediately became active while still serving as an educator. A major point of acknowledgement, Septima Clark assisted the NAACP and Thurgood Marshall on a 1945 case seeking equal pay for Black educators in comparison to their White counterparts. The team of activists won the case and Clark’s salary increases 3x.
Notably, Clark was also the director of the Highlander’s Folk School Citizenship School program, where she led workshops attended by people such as Rosa Parks in 1955, and taught basic literacy and math making it widespread throughout Black communities where education was scarce. Clark later joined the SCLC as Director of Education & Teaching in 1961. More than 800 Citizenship schools were created under her leadership.
Before her passing, Septima Clark was honored in many ways. She was a recipient of the Living Legacy Award presented by Pres. Jimmy Carter (1979) and the Order of the Palmetto, a South Carolina honor (1987). Clark passed away on December 15, 1987.
Hey yawl I’m Tyler Marie, or Ty as I’ve come to be called. I am a (West-Side) Chicagoan ‘til Chicago ends. I attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School here in the city and went on to attend the first Private HBCU, Wilberforce University (OH) where I obtained my B.A. Sociology in 2012. It’s probably pretty clear now that writing is kind of ‘my thing’ but I’m more than okay with that. Other hobbies include eating, playing basketball, modeling and singing. Basically, I spend all my time trying to be as fly of a Black Girl as I can be. Connect with me via: Twitter/Instagram- @_Mighty5| Tumblr- iamjusttyler.tumblr.com