Civil Rights in Columbia

Two women join S.C. Hall of Fame

Marian Wright Edelman and the late Septima Poinsette Clark were inducted Monday into the South Carolina Hall of Fame at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Edelman, a Bennettsville native, is an advocate for disadvantaged Americans and founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund. She graduated from Spelman College and Yale Law School, and became the first black woman to be admitted to the Mississippi Bar. Edelman also is a civil rights activist and directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund office in Jacksonville, Miss.

Clark was a teacher and civil rights activist who was called the ``Mother of the Movement'' by Martin Luther King Jr. She was born in Charleston in 1898. Her father was a former slave, and her mother was from Haiti. Clark, who died in 1987, developed literacy workshops and promoted education so that African-Americans could qualify for voting and civil rights. She was in the group that accompanied King to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and earned many honors of her own, including the Living Legacy Award in 1979, which was presented by President Jimmy Carter, and the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award, in 1982.

The South Carolina Hall of Fame was dedicated in 1973 to recognize contemporary and past citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the state's heritage and progress. It was designated by law as the state's official Hall of Fame in 2001.