Freedom's Teacher, Enhanced Ebook

The Life of Septima Clark

Enhanced ebook with video and audio

By Katherine Mellen Charron

Freedom's Teacher, Enhanced Ebook

480 pp., , includes more than 60 audio clips

  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-3760-3
    Published: March 2012

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Civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987) developed a citizenship education program that enabled tens of thousands of African Americans to register to vote and to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment. Clark, who began her own teaching career in 1916, grounded her approach in the philosophy and practice of southern black activist educators in the decades leading up to the 1950s and 1960s, and then trained a committed cadre of grassroots black women to lead this literacy revolution in community stores, beauty shops, and churches throughout the South.

In this engaging biography, Katherine Charron tells the story of Clark, from her coming of age in the South Carolina lowcountry to her activism with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the movement's heyday.

The enhanced electronic version of the book draws from archives, libraries, and the author’s personal collection and includes nearly 100 letters, documents, photographs, newspaper articles, and interview excerpts, embedding each in the text where it will be most meaningful. Featuring more than 60 audio clips (more than 2.5 hours total) from oral history interviews with 15 individuals, including Clark herself, the enhanced e-book redefines the idea of the "talking book.”

Watch the video below to see a demonstration of the enhanced ebook:

About 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.
For more information about Katherine Mellen Charron, visit the Author Page.


"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

"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

“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 educational history, women’s history, and the civil rights movement.”--North Carolina Historical Review

"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] 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."--The Journal of Southern History

“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 rights era, the definition of civil rights leadership, and the role of education in laying the foundation for protest and social justice in the twentieth century.”--The American Historical Review