In the mid-1950s, Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), a former public school teacher, developed a citizenship training program that enabled thousands of African Americans to register to vote and then to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment. In Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark, Katherine Mellen Charron demonstrates Clark’s crucial role–and the role of many black women teachers–in making education a cornerstone of the twentieth-century freedom struggle.
Charron will be Frank Stasio’s guest on WUNC’s The State of Things today at noon (rebroadcast at 9pm). You may listen online or catch up later by downloading a podcast of the show (I’ll link to that when it’s available). [Update: podcast is now available!]