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A Kiss from Rose| A Child's Prayer for Their Parent

As parents, we never think about our children's prayers on our behalf. How do our children's prayers sound? What do our prayers look like for our parents? Here's a possible prayer, what does yours look like?

Abba, I thank You for my life. Today is not about me. I am coming to You today for my parents. I want to thank You for blessing me with them. I ask that you cover their life. I ask that You cover my life so they can feel joy and be proud of me. I ask You to grant them long and full life, full of joy and happiness. They have been great examples of how to walk upright in You. The sacrifices they have made for me, I can not count. All of the tears they have cried, I do not know. The love they have shared with me, I feel it every day. Withhold no good thing from my parents. Grant them peace without suffering. Continue to show Your face through them. In Jesus' name, amen.


* Woman History Facts

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There were many who fought and who sacrificed during the long struggle for civil rights in America. Septima Poinsette Clark, often referred to as the "queen mother of the civil rights movement," was certainly foremost among them. When she died at the age of 89, then Governor Carroll Campbell lauded her as "…a leading civil rights activist…a legendary educator, and humanitarian…" and declared that "…we have lost a part of our collective conscience which calls out against inequality and injustice…" (Livingston, 1987). In 1956, the same state government that later extolled her accomplishments fired Mrs. Clark from her job as a teacher when she refused to renounce her NAACP membership, and for many years she was denied a pension. Clark helped South Carolina discover the conscience that allowed this dramatic turnabout.

In 1916 the city of Charleston would not hire black teachers in its public schools. So Septima had to leave home in order to earn a living. She was hired as a teacher at a school on Johns Island, off the coast. Today the island is accessible by bridges, but it was a difficult trip by boat at that time. Septima was one of two teachers at a school with 132 students ranging from first to eighth graders. Conditions were poor and supplies almost nonexistent. Many students attended sporadically, since they were needed for fieldwork much of the school year. Although a stranger, she was able to communicate with the islanders in Gullah, so she quickly fit in. It was here that she first became involved in adult education. Many men in the community joined secret societies, and at first they came to her for help with preparing their speeches. But in order to be active in the societies, they had to learn to read and write and do simple math. Working with these men sparked an interest in what would become a key part of her life’s work, fighting adult illiteracy.

In 1918, Septima left Johns Island to teach sixth grade at the Avery School in Charleston. She could save money by living at home, and she would be returning to an urban environment. Activists were beginning a campaign to get black teachers hired in black public schools. Septima and many others went door-to-door, getting thousands of signatures on a petition. It was her first taste of community activism. The campaign was a success, the school board changed its policy, and in 1920, black teachers began to teach in the Charleston schools that taught black children.

Until her health declined in her final months, Septima Clark continued to be active in the struggle for civil rights. Mrs. Clark was an advocate of nonviolence who never allowed herself to become embittered by her experiences. In remembering her, Yvonne Clark said: "I think her most important accomplishment is not so much what she did while alive but what she instilled in the many people that came in contact with her during her lifetime...How many can say that just meeting Septima Clark, that it made them a better person or that it made them look at life differently..." (Yvonne Clark, 2000). State Human Affairs Commissioner James Clyburn said: “She probably had the biggest heart of anybody I ever met…” (Livingston, 1987). Nelson Rivers, executive director of the South Carolina NAACP, said: “She represented so much of what is good and right about people of any color” (Livingston, 1987). Septima Clark lived a life filled with love and good works. She provided a model of how to bring about change.


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