Celebrating Black History Month


Black History Month continues and the focus is now on Septima Poinsette Clark, and an article written by Erin Blakemore. Clark is known as the "queen mother of the Civil Rights Movement." Septima grew up in Charleston, S.C. and was born into a family of eight children, all of whom graduated from high school and two (including Septima) from college. She became a teacher and a fierce advocate for education.

Blakemore writes "Life as a black teacher in the segregated South was not easy. She found herself thrust into community politics and civil rights struggles. Her involvement veered from the basic to the complex, teaching people  how to read on the one hand, and teaching people how to resist oppression and discrimnation on the other."

In the 1960s Clark began establishing Citizenship Schools in the South. "These schools taught basic literacy to black students so that they could not only legally register to vote, but also pass onerous literacy and citizenship tests imposed by Jim Crow legislatures."

Click here to read more of Blakemore's article on Septima Clark.

Look for more Black History Month stories of celebration from JSTOR Daily in the days ahead.