Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Septima Poinsette Clark 1898-1987

Marker ID:  
Location: 360 Concord St, Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston, SC
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 47.424    W 079° 55.554
  32.7904    -79.9259
Style: Mounted **


Native Charlestonian and daughter of a former lowcountry slave, Mrs. Septima Clark was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. A graduate of Avery Normal Institute, Clark's first job was teaching African-American children on Johns Island. Her experiences with racial inequalities in the school system inspired her to fight for social change. After 40 years of teaching, Clark was fired because of her membership in the NAACP. She then taught at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, and traveled extensively voicing her support for social justice. One of her greatest legacies was the development of citizenship schools where adult African- Americans learned skills needed to register to vote.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced Clark to accept a position as Director of Education with the Southern Christian Leadership Council. Clark's lifelong passion for human rights and equality of justice inspired others. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter presented Clark the Living Legacy Award.

(Left plaque)
The very health of our society depends upon constant unfettered reappraisal of our human condition - - of religion and the spiritual goals of life, of politics and our use of power, of economics and the responsibilities of wealth, of justice and its availability to all human relationships, and the search for that real peace which is far more than the absence of war.
Septima Clark

(Right plaque)
I want people to see Children as human beings and not to think of the money it costs nor think of the amount of time it will take, but to think of the lives that can be developed into Americans who will redeem the soul of America and will really make America a great country.
Septima Clark