Septima Poinsette Clark is considered to be one of the mothers of the civil rights movement. As an active member of the NAACP, she helped the organization fight to obtain equal pay for Black teachers who were paid substantially less than White teachers.
As a teacher and state employee, Clark was prohibited from being a member of the NAACP and was fired in 1956 for refusing to relinquish her NAACP membership.
Later, Mrs. Clark moved to Tennessee to work for Highlander Folk School where one of the participants was Rosa Parks. At the Highlander School Mrs. Clark refined her concept of citizenship schools. Between 1957 and 1970, with the assistance of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), she had established and trained teachers for 897 citizenship schools in the South.