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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLIFFORD, CARRIE WILLIAMS - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLIFFORD, CARRIE WILLIAMS (Sept. 1862-10 Nov. 1934), noted orator, poet, and activist for women and African-Americans, helped found the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women in 1900 and served as its first president while she lived in Cleveland. Clifford was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, and educated in Columbus. She taught school in Parkersburg, West Virginia before she married Ohio state legislator WILLIAM H. CLIFFORD† in 1886 and moved to Cleveland. The couple had two sons, Joshua and Maurice.

Clifford founded and edited the official publication of the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women, the Queen's Garden, and Sowing for Others to Reap, a federation-sponsored compilation of essays. She served as editor of the women's department of the CLEVELAND JOURNAL, a black newspaper. Among her publications was an essay entitled "Cleveland and its Colored People" (Colored American, July 1905). Clifford also recruited African American women for the Niagara movement, a predecessor of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE (NAACP).

In 1908, the Cliffords moved to Washington, D.C. Clifford later published two volumes of poetry, Race Rhymes (1911) and The Widening Light (1922) and served the local and national NAACP. She was buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.

Last Modified: 25 Nov 2008 01:13:00 PM

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