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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Septima Poinsette Clark, July 30, 1976. Interview G-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Two different women in the SCLC

Clark recalls two women who influenced the SCLC — one positively and the other negatively. While one did a fine job as a treasurer, the other had too much class prejudice to extend her social work expertise to poor people.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Septima Poinsette Clark, July 30, 1976. Interview G-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

EUGENE WALKER:
Very good. What about the women in the movement? Aside from you and Miss Ella Baker and Miss Dorothy Cotton, whom we've mentioned, can you think of any other women in the SCLC organization or who influenced the SCLC organization?
SEPTIMA POINSETTE CLARK:
Thinking about SCLC, there was a woman named Lillie Hunter. She worked with SCLC, and I felt that she was very good. She went with Dr. King to Europe, too. She was working as a secretary, though, to the treasurer, but she went with us to the workshops and really was an excellent person to talk to to carry out the work of getting the checks ready and sending to them and the like. We had a social worker, and she was a Miss Adams, but Miss Adams couldn't get to see poverty-stricken people. That was beneath her. It was hard for her to talk to them. She was a social worker here, first at one of the colleges in Atlanta, and then she came to work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She didn't stay long, because those poverty-stricken people coming out of Alabama and Mississippi were too far beneath her where she could be of service to them. She hired a plane one day to come to the workshop down at Dorchester and failed to send the people money to eat on the way. And when I asked her about it, she was very haughty. And I told her that if it weren't for those people, she wouldn't have bread and butter on her table. So she and I argued about that quite a bit. I disliked it greatly.
EUGENE WALKER:
So you can't think of any other women who one way or another, either officially or unofficially, influenced the movement.
SEPTIMA POINSETTE CLARK:
I'm trying to think to see if I know of any other women who influenced the movement. Now I worked with a number of women in South Carolina, women from Newberry, South Carolina, and I can't think of their names. But that was around 1956 and 1957.