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Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark / Edition 1

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Overview

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 this vibrantly written biography, Katherine 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. Using Clark's life as a lens, Charron sheds valuable new light on southern black women's activism in national, state, and judicial politics, from the Progressive Era to the civil rights movement and beyond.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[In this] comprehensive and thoroughly engrossing biography. . . . Katherine Charron artfully presents the full breadth of the life and career of Septima Clark."—Journal of African American History

"This biography will enlighten anyone interested in the black freedom struggle, the classic phase of the civil rights movement, and women's history."—Tennessee Historical Review

"Charron's stunning, eminently readable writing style pulls the reader in from the outset with opening lines that approach synesthesia. . . . Any biographers would find this work amazing and a worthy addition to their libraries. Any historian of the civil rights movements would be well suited to pick this up as background and context for understanding a leader and pioneer. A general reader would not be put off by academic prose or overreliance on either citations or notations."—H-Net Reviews

"More than a biography."—Oral History Review

"In Charron's capable hands, [Septima] Clark's life has at long last received the full-length attention it deserves."—Oral History Review

"As a lyrical and moving account of an influential activist, this biography is unrivaled."—Journal of American Studies

"A beautifully written and meticulously researched biography. . . . An essential addition to the growing number of biographies of black women educators and activists….It challenges us to broaden our understanding of the development of the civil rig

"[A] deft narrative. . . . A compelling story about someone whose name may not be included as a leader in the civil rights movement but certainly should be."—Journal of Southern History

"Deeply researched and engaging. . . . Charron's richly suggestive biography of Septima Clark will surely stimulate more work on the African American women who made the possibilities of the movement realities."—Journal of American History

"A carefully researched and beautifully written study that absorbs the reader from the first paragraph. . . . An engaging synthesis of the major events and personalities of twentieth-century South Carolina. . . . An essential text for students of educatio

"The crucial role played by Septima Poinsette Clark and other African-American women has been written back into the story of the civil rights movement."—The Pilot

"Freedom's Teacher is the product of a 12-year research journey, the result of which is extensive and meticulously organized. . . . Charron vividly brings [Clark's] life and times to the fore."—The Charleston Post and Courier

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807833322
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine Mellen Charron is associate professor of history at North Carolina State University. She is coeditor of William Henry Singleton's Recollections of My Slavery Days.

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