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Kimberly A. Sisson

poet, clubwoman, and political activist, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the daughter of Mary Evans and Joshua T. Williams, whose occupation is now unknown. In 1870 the family moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Mary Evans opened a successful wig-making business that operated for over twenty years. Carrie Williams attended the first integrated school in Columbus; whether she pursued higher education is unknown, however it is known that during the 1880s she taught in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

In 1886, at the age of twenty-four, she married William H. Clifford, a two-term Republican state representative from Cleveland. They would have two sons. As part of the black middle class in Cleveland, Clifford and her husband socialized with other important black figures such as Charles W. Chesnutt and George A. Meyers. Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois made frequent appearances in Cleveland joining the Cliffords ...

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Connie Park Rice

educator and club woman, was born Coralie Franklin in Lexington, Virginia, a daughter of Albert Franklin and Mary E. (maiden name unknown). During or immediately after the Civil War the family moved to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, where Coralie attended the Normal Department at Storer College, graduating in 1872. She continued her education at Storer and graduated from the Academic Department in 1880. A gifted elocutionist she was described by John Wesley Cromwell, on a visit to Harper's Ferry in 1877, as “an elocutionist of grace, skill and power” (Journal of Negro History, July 1923). Franklin went on to attend Emerson College in Boston, the Shoemaker School of Oratory in Philadelphia, and the Martha's Vineyard Summer Institute of Oratory in Massachusetts. Franklin then returned to West Virginia and her alma mater, where she taught elocution at Storer College from 1882 to 1893 ...

Article

clubwoman, suffragette, and author was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Dr. Nathan F. Mossell and Gertrude E. H. (Bustill) Mossell. Born into one of the elite families of Philadelphia, Mazie attended Philadelphia public schools and the F. F. Jones Private School for Girls. After graduation she taught kindergarten for one year in Darby, Pennsylvania. She married Dr. Joshua R. Griffin Jr. of Richmond, Virginia, in 1909. They had one son, Francis Raleigh.

Following in her mother's footsteps, Mazie became a writer and contributed to a variety of newspapers. Her columns were published in the Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia Courant, Washington Sun, and Chicago Defender. Griffin founded the Phyllis Wheatley Club in order to encourage young women to write. While Griffin also published a book, Afro-American Men and Women Who Count, in 1915 her true calling was in public service As ...

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Verina Morton Jones was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended State Normal School in Columbia, South Carolina. From 1884 to 1888 she attended the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia—then widely acknowledged to be one of the best medical colleges for women in the country. She received her MD in 1888 and began practice in the African American community at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Morton Jones was the first woman, black or white, to practice medicine in the state of Mississippi. She married twice; the first time in 1890 to W. A. Morton, MD, who died in 1895, and the second time in 1901 to Emory Jones, who died in 1927. She had one child from her first marriage, Franklin W., who was born in 1892.

Among the first African American women in the U S to receive a degree in ...

Article

Susan Knoke Rishworth

physician, civil rights and women's suffrage activist, settlement worker, and clubwoman, was born Verina Harris in Ohio, one of five children of Charlotte (Kitty) Stanly, a schoolteacher, and the Reverend W. D. Harris, a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Her mother came from a family of North Carolina free blacks who had inherited slaves that they wished to emancipate in the North before the impending Civil War. Around 1850 the family moved to Ohio, where Kitty Stanly and her husband taught school. The year of Verina Harris's birth is given as 1865 in some sources, but most probably it was between 1853 and 1857. Little is known about her early life, but the family apparently moved south to Columbia, South Carolina, in 1870 while her father was serving in an AME ministry in various locations in South Carolina More information ...