Photograph of Septima Clark, second from left, one of the teachers at the Highlander Folk School, and some of her students. Clark taught public school in South Carolina for 40 years, but in the late 1950s was fired because she refused to give up her membership in the NAACP. She became director of workshops at the Highlander Folk School, a training ground for African-Americans and other people desiring social change. One of her students was Rosa Parks, who, three months after attending Clark's class, refused to give up her seat on the bus. Through Highlander, and later through the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Clark traveled throughout the South, establishing a network of Citizenship Schools for African-Americans. Teachers at the schools taught illiterate blacks how to read and write their names so they could pass literacy tests and be eligible to vote. Students also learned life skills, such as how to balance their checkbooks and read road signs, and democratic principles, including the United States Constitution, the way government works and how to vote in elections.
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